Rasmus Ristolainen scored 42 seconds into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders Friday night.
The Sabres trailed the Islanders twice in the game, coming back to win their third game in their last four.
Getting to overtime: The Sabres tied the game, 2-2, three minutes into the third period on the power play. The second unit gained the zone and Evander Kane got off a pair of shots before Matt Moulson knocked the puck past New York Islanders starter Jean-Francois Berube. It was Moulson's seventh power-play goal of the season.
Jack down: With 10:48 left in the third period Johnny Boychuk drilled Jack Eichel in the back in the Islanders' zone. Boychuck was given a two-minute penalty for boarding and Eichel stayed out for the first part of the power play. Eichel was missing from the bench after his power play shift and Sabres coach Dan Bylsma confirmed after the game he was taken off the ice by the NHL concussion spotter before returning to the game.
"The power play ensued and he stayed on for that," Bylsma said. "During the power play, when he was on the ice was when we got word."
Power play goal: New York took a 2-1 lead with 13:21 left in the second. With Brian Gionta in the box for slashing, Robin Lehner made some big saves. But the puck was loose and Shane Prince picked it up on the left side of the net, slid a pass a cross to Alan Quine who quickly hit the back of the net. It was the sixth power-play goal the Sabres have given up in the last five games.
On the board: A strong start to the second period put the Sabres on the board. Ristolainen ripped a shot from the right point. Johan Larsson was in the high slot to redirect it into the net and Buffalo tied the game, 1-1, with 17:28 left in the period.
Streaking: With the assist on Larsson's goal, Ristolainen has established a new career high with a five-game point streak. In that stretch he has two goals and seven assists.
Slow Sabres start: Although the Islanders played the night before in Brooklyn, a 5-4 loss to Chicago, it was New York which came out with all the jump. They had a 7-1 advantage in shots through the first 10 minutes and Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner came up with some key saves, including stopping Andrew Ladd and Josh Bailey who were both alone in front of the crease.
Early lead: The Islanders capitalized with 6:52 left in the first when Cal Clutterbuck kept the puck in at the blue line, skated past Kane and dished to Ryan Strome in the slot. Strome fired the puck past Lehner for the 1-0 lead.
Scoring from the blue line: The goal from Strome was the 20th from a defenseman for the Islanders this season. The team entered Friday's games with the second-most goals from the blue line in the NHL. By contrast, the Sabres defense has just three goals.
Chance in the first: The Sabres had seven shots in the first but only one fantastic scoring chance. With 9:55 left in the period, Eichel hit Kyle Okposo streaking in, but Okposo couldn't quite get past the defense. Then Justin Falk let a shot rip that hit the post and bounced out. Moulson swept the rebound wide.
Third-string goalie: The Islanders gave Jean-Francois Berube the start, his first of the season. Berube, the third-string goaltender for New York, made his NHL debut Oct. 10, 2015. Last season he played in eight NHL games.
Lineup notes: The game started with Moulson on the line with Eichel and Okposo. Evander Kane started on the fourth line with Zemgus Girgensons and Nic Deslauriers. The top line of William Carrier, Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart stayed intact as did the line of Marcus Foligno, Larsson and Gionta.
The defensive pairings stayed the same with Ristolainen paired with Jake McCabe. Josh Gorges skated with Dmitry Kulikov and Justin Falk was with Cody Franson.
Scratches: Derek Grant and Zach Bogosian were the officially listed scratches Friday.
Counting the house: Friday's attendance was 18,903.
Next: The Sabres play at 7 p.m. in Carolina Saturday for their fourth set of back-to-back games. The Sabres are 2-1-0 in second games this season.
It's part of a busy run-up to Christmas for the Sabres, who play the Panthers in Florida on Tuesday then have another back-to-back set, this time hosting Carolina on Thursday and playing at the Islanders on Friday.
The NHL goes dark for the holiday from Dec. 24-26. There are no games or practices those three days.