Islanders take down Sabres in SO
Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brock Nelson scored the only goal of the shootout as the New York Islanders wrapped up the season with a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Nelson's wrister trickled past Connor Knapp in the second round, while Ville Leino tried to drag the puck back for a wrister, but it was punched away by Anders Nilsson for the win.
Anders Lee scored twice and Nelson also lit the lamp for the Islanders (34-37-11), who closed the season with three straight wins. Nilsson made 36 stops.
"These guys battled and got three wins on the road trip," said New York head coach Jack Capuano. "I told them after the game I was proud of the way they battled for one another and there will be a lot of healthy competition moving forward."
Jamie McBain, Torrey Mitchell and Matt Ellis scored for the Sabres (21-51-10), who lost their last seven games of the season to finish dead last in the NHL. Knapp stopped 22 shots in his first NHL start.
"For the coach to show that confidence in me despite really not seeing me play much, just the organization in general putting me in there," said Knapp. "And obviously it's a big confidence boost and great to see that kind of competition at this level."
Buffalo took a 3-2 lead halfway through the third period when Rasmus Ristolainen's shot from the right point was redirected in by Mitchell, but the Islanders tied the game as Nelson's snap shot from the slot went over the glove of Knapp with 3:44 to play in regulation.
McBain scored halfway through the opening frame as his wrister on the fly from the left wing went in for his sixth of the season.
It was a 2-0 game 7:23 into the second period on Ellis' tip-in of a Marcus Foligno shot, but Lee scored on the power play with 3:23 left in the middle frame to get the Islanders on the board.
Lee scored his second of the game and ninth of the season just 17 seconds into the third to tie the game.
The Islanders finished the season a respectable 21-18-2 on the road this season ... Buffalo was a league-worst 13-21-7 at home this season ... New York won two of the three games with Buffalo this season ... Knapp also had an assist on McBain's goal. He is the first goaltender to record an assist in his first NHL start since Chad Johnson of the New York Rangers accomplished that feat on Jan. 7, 2010 at Atlanta.
04/13 22:31:04 ET