There weren't a lot of people who saw it – the empty seats may have outnumbered the full ones – and it was way more difficult to finish than start, but the Buffalo Sabres finally have their 1,000th home victory.
The snapshots from the milestone will show them in their snazzy special uniforms.
The Sabres broke out their Winter Classic whites Thursday and wore them in a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders. Buffalo scored on its opening two shots and gave up a two-goal lead during the third period before settling things in KeyBank Center.
After the Islanders rallied, Sabres right wing Sam Reinhart snapped a 3-3 tie with 4:14 remaining. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped Evan Rodrigues' attempt, but Reinhart put the rebound home with a backhand and unleashed an enthusiastic fist pump.
Reinhart had a three-point night, boosting his totals to four goals, nine assists and 13 points in the last 10 games.
Buffalo was 0-4-1 in its previous five home games, including 0-3-1 for the first four games of the now-complete five-game homestand. The Sabres announced 16,872 tickets sold, but there were plenty of no-shows.
Making it close: The Islanders scored with 12:30 left in regulation, cutting the Sabres' lead to 3-2. Left wing Ross Johnston accepted a pass in the slot and went top corner over goaltender Robin Lehner's glove to get Sabres fans sweating.
Making it tied: Buffalo center Jack Eichel went to the penalty box for tripping with 6:28 to play, and the Islanders took advantage 1:01 later. Josh Bailey's shot bounced off the backboards, and Anders Lee slipped the carom between Lehner's skate and the post to tie it, 3-3.
Goaltender wanted: The Islanders need a reliable goaltender, and that was evident during the first period. Buffalo attempted only seven shots and put just four on net, but it went into the opening intermission with a 2-0 lead.
One for one: It took the Sabres 7:41 to take their first shot. Reinhart entered the Isles' zone and dished to Jack Eichel, who skated to the right circle. Halak gave the center plenty of net to shoot at, and Eichel went far post and in for a 1-0 lead.
The goal was the 22nd of the season for Eichel, who has 14 goals in the last 22 games. Eichel scored 24 goals in each of his opening two seasons.
Two for two: It took the Sabres 13:21 to take their second shot. Defenseman Marco Scandella sent his attempt off the back boards, and Halak scrambled around the crease as the puck bounced to the front. Evan Rodrigues slipped a shot under the goalie to make it 2-0.
Perfect first: While Halak was struggling, Lehner turned aside all 10 first-period shots he faced.
Power surging: The Sabres' power play continues to burn up the score sheet. The first time the Islanders went to the penalty box, Buffalo made it 3-0.
Ryan O'Reilly tipped home Rasmus Ristolainen's high point shot, extending the lead with 7:18 gone in the second period. O'Reilly has five goals in eight games and 16 this season.
Buffalo's power play moved to 13 for 35 (37.1 percent) in the last 13 games.
On the board: The Islanders ended Lehner's shutout bid with 6:54 left in the second period. Marco Scandella crushed John Tavares in the corner, but the New York center bounced up and skated to the crease. He got position and pushed the puck home after a point shot slipped up Lehner.
The goal was the 28th of the season for Tavares.
Busier: The Sabres put 10 shots on Halak during the second period and took their 3-1 lead into intermission. It was just the 14th time in Buffalo's 55 games that it led after 40 minutes.
New looks: The Sabres changed their top line as Rodrigues moved to left wing to join Eichel and Reinhart. Johan Larsson returned from his two-game suspension to center Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville.
Coach Phil Housley split up the longtime defense pairing of Scandella and Ristolainen. He elevated Casey Nelson to skate with Scandella, while Ristolainen joined Nathan Beaulieu. Josh Gorges returned from two games as a healthy scratch and was paired with Victor Antipin.
Sidelined: Defenseman Jake McCabe underwent thumb surgery and will miss up to a month. Buffalo was already without fellow top-four defenseman Zach Bogosian, who is done for the year after hip surgery.
Next: The Sabres and their relatives boarded the team charter after the game for a "Parents and Mentors Trip" to Boston. The group will spend Friday together, and the players will visit the Bruins on Saturday.