UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Sabres losing streak now stands at seven games.
Buffalo lost three straight games, all 5-2, to the New York Islanders, the most recent on Sunday afternoon, when the Sabres were able to get themselves back into the game in the third period.
The Islanders scored three goals in the second period from Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Casey Cizikas, and led the Sabres 3-0 heading into the third.
The Sabres' offense finally came alive when Jeff Skinner scored his first game of the season 5 minutes, 41 seconds into the period to make it a 3-1 game.
Skinner went a full calendar year without a goal, partially because of the shortened seasons in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, but there was a clear drought, with Skinner's most recent goal before Sunday on February 29, 2020.
"It's a nice feeling to contribute to the team. ... Everyone on the ice was involved in the goal. For a short moment there, it sort of got us back in the game a little bit, and you want to try to build on these big feelings," Skinner said after the game.
There was a buzz and a compete factor from the Sabres after Skinner's goal. About four minutes later, Colin Miller pulled Buffalo within one, with a goal assisted by the Sabres' stars, Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall, and the Islanders led it 3-2.
A Cal Clutterbuck goal for the Isles with 7:03 remaining would be a dagger for the Sabres, after he stole the puck from Brandon Davidson and scored on the breakaway to push the Islanders lead back to two, 4-2.
2 On Your Side's Julianne Pelusi asked head coach Ralph Krueger about the way Skinner's goal "stoked a fire" in the team, and "why can't that kind of play be bottled up and put into other periods and other situations, like when it is [a 1-0 game] and the wheels fall off?"
"There's no question that piece of the third period where we ... could feel a certain bite and a fight, compared to the past two games. ... Then three minutes later, you give up a breakaway, which was very disheartening," Krueger said.
"I thought the character at that point in the fight was something... you need to react to the first goal against like that. You need to react."
The Islanders would get an empty net goal from Nelson, his second of the game to make the final score 5-2.
The Sabres wrap up a five-game road trip Tuesday night in Philadelphia before coming home to host the Penguins on Thursday and Saturday in Buffalo.