The Islanders beat Buffalo in each of the teams' first two meetings, the most recent occasion coming three weeks ago when New York outlasted the Sabres 4-2.On Saturday Buffalo, already near the bottom of the NHL as the 27th-highest scoring team, will not have the services of leading scorer Thomas Vanek, out with an upper-body injury.
For New York, John Tavares has 22 points in the last 14 games. The 21-year old center did not score in New York's last game on Friday against the Ottawa Senators, but Mark Eaton netted a goal at 2:35 into overtime and the Islanders escaped with a 2-1 overtime win. Evgeni Nabokov, 6-2 in his last eight games, stopped 23 shots in the victory.
For more on the Islanders, head over to the SB Nation blog Lighthouse Hockey.