New York Islanders @ Buffalo Sabres Preview

The Buffalo Sabres (16-34-3) are looking to take another home victory from the New York Islanders (33-18-1) in the early Sunday matinee scheduled for 5 PM this afternoon at First Niagara Center. With an impressive win last night against Lindy Ruff and the Dallas Stars, the Buffalo Sabres improved their February record to 2-1-0 and showed signs of what could be a strong 5 game homestand after ending a six-game home losing streak last night against Dallas.

Chris Stewart had 3 points (0 G, 3 A) in the Sabres 3-2 win over Dallas last night and spoke with the media on how last night was a step in the right direction and how he hopes the strong win last night can carry over as success tonight.

“I think the more we start playing with each other, the reads are just becoming automatic and the chemistry is building," Stewart said. We are really close off the ice too, so that definitely helps. Today was a good step in the right direction and we have (the New York Islanders) tomorrow.”

Stewart’s confidence is something that the team as a whole will need to build off of and try to reciprocate.

Chris Stewart (pictured above) record 3 assists in the Sabres 3-2 win over Dallas last night. His play is something that the Sabres will look to build on as they try and create home momentum tonight against the New York Islanders. Image courtesy of Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports Images

Chris Stewart (pictured above) record 3 assists in the Sabres 3-2 win over Dallas last night. His play is something that the Sabres will look to build on as they try and create home momentum tonight against the New York Islanders.

Image courtesy of Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports Images

Goaltender Jhonas Enroth is definitely feeling the confidence vibe. Backstopping a 38 save win last night, he improved to 2-1-0 in his last three starts this week and improved his save percentage to .942. He goes into tonight’s game looking to follow up a lights out game last night.

It may seem as déjà vu for Enroth tonight as he faces another well rounded, scoring Islanders team. Islander’s captain and forward John Tavares is always a scoring threat for his team, no matter what goaltender stands between the pipes at the other end. In his last 5 games, Tavares has tallied 4 points (2 G, 2 A). The Sabres will need to find a way to shut down any high-scoring chances that he may receive tonight. A strong, physical Sabres presence will need to be felt by Tavares, especially after a slew foot incident that he pulled in Boston last night on Brad Marchand. Granted it was the Boston Bruins, Tavares should have at least received a penalty on the play. It will be interesting to see if the Sabres dole out any eye for an eye justice tonight on Tavares. The video can be watched below:

Tonight will also be Islander’s forward Frans Nielsen’s 500th NHL game tonight. His first NHL game was nine seasons ago, on January 6th, 2007 in Carolina. Commonly referred to as “The Mule” by hockey analysts, Nielsen’s grinding and puck procession play is something the Sabres will need to contain as he may be looking to get his name down on the score sheet for this special milestone.

The puck drops at 5 PM and the first 10,000 fans to enter First Niagara Center will receive a pack of Sabres cards, courtesy of Dave and Adam’s Card World. Coverage will take place on MSG with the TOPS pregame show kicking off tonight’s showdown at 4:30 PM. The game can also be heard on the Sabres flagship station, WGR 550.