Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - P.A. Parenteau scored what proved to be the game-winner in the second period as the New York Islanders took a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in the opener of a home-and-home at HSBC Arena.
Nathan Lawson started the game in net, but left after the first period with a left knee injury. He stopped 10 shots while Kevin Poulin made 26 saves in the final two periods.
Michael Grabner scored twice while Matt Moulson and Jack Hillen each had a goal for the Islanders, who had dropped five of six coming into the game.
Ryan Miller was pulled halfway through the first period after allowing two goals on 10 shots. Patrick Lalimefinished the game between the pipes and made 16 saves off of 18 shots for the Sabres, who had won three of four prior to the setback.
Nathan Gerbe scored five seconds apart late in the game to set a Buffalo franchise record for the fastest two goals by the same player.
"We had some good effort in parts of the game, but there was no finishing," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "You can win all the battles, but if you don't finish plays, you don't win."
These two squads will meet up in Uniondale on Sunday.
The Islanders were holding a 4-0 lead with under four minutes to play, but Gerbe cut that deficit in half by himself.
The first goal came at the 16:38 mark when he rushed into the zone down the right wing and from the circle he lifted a backhand into the left corner.
Off the faceoff, Gerbe chipped the puck past the defender to Mike Grier, who caught up with and slid it over to Gerbe for a snap shot into the net to make it a 4-2 game.
However, Buffalo was unable to get and closer and Grabner's second goal of the game came with the net empty in the final moments to account for the final score.
Grabner's first goal came 7:26 in when he held the disc behind the net and threw it out front where it hit off of Tyler Myers and snuck past Miller.
Just over three minutes later, New York won a faceoff at the left circle and from the high slot Andy MacDonald slapped a shot on net that Moulson redirected past Miller, who was pulled from the net after the goal.
A bad turnover in the Buffalo end resulted in John Tavares getting the puck along the right boards. He then sent the puck to the slot where Parenteau was all alone and he had plenty of time to pick his spot for a 3-0 lead at the 14:35 mark of the second.
Hillen's goal with 5:27 to play in the contest made it a 4-0 game.
Lawson will be evaluated on Saturday...The Islanders have taken both meetings this season...The previous Buffalo record for fastest two goals by the same player was held by Derek Plante...New York went 1-for-3 on the power play while Buffalo was 0-for-3.