Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- Welcome for one final time into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box. The Buffalo Sabres drop the curtain on the lockout-shortened 2013 season against the New York Islanders. There have been plenty of peaks and valleys throughout the last three months, but it feels like this season went way too fast.
Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal, and make his 500th NHL appearance. All have come in a Sabres' uniform, and it may be his last. I stress may because I am not sold on the idea of moving the franchise netminder. We can discuss that throughout the night if you would like by commenting in the thread below. I will add more of my two cents in addition to the scoring plays as well.
Remember, you can keep up with the Sabres' offseason by following me on Twitter: @PatWGR and also following Brian Koziol: @BrianWGR. For more from today's morning skate, click here for Paul Hamilton's pregame primer.
20:00 - The Sabres handed out some hardware prior to tonight's contest. All three awards were voted on by the players themselves: Rookie of the Year - Marcus Foligno, Unsung Hero - Mike Weber, MVP - Ryan Miller.
18:14 - Sure, Thomas Vanek was another easy choice for team MVP, but I think there is a chance this was the team's way of saying they are behind their goaltender. If it were not for Miller at certain points this season, things could have been much worse.
13:38 - Some good end-to-end action thus far as the Islanders are trying to stay out of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference for another night. They can jump to 7th with a point tonight.
9:10 - Mike Weber's minor penalty is killed off by the Sabres, and the team did not give up many chances against.
6:58 - Mikhail Grigorenko's willingness to drive the net creates a power play for Buffalo as the forward was hauled down in front of the net.
End of Period
BUF - 0, NYI - 0
Shots on Goal
BUF - 10, NYI - 9
20:00 - Both John Scott and Eric Boulton were assessed 10-minute misconduct penalties for their antics at the end of the first period.
16:26 - SABRES GOAL. Thomas Vanek made a very nice pass into the slot, Brian Flynn received it and laced a low wrist shot past Evgeni Nabakov to open the scoring. Sometimes you have to tip you cap to the shooter, like there. 1-0 BUF.
15:18 - Tyler Ennis shows some anger as he goes after Thomas Hickey following a big hit at the Isles' blue line. Drew Stafford joins his fellow winger in the box for roughing. New York will now have a 4-on-3 power play for about a minute.
13:00 - No sweat for the blue and gold, as they not only kill off the 4-on-3 but the 5-on-3 chance when Brian Strait came out of the penalty box for New York.
9:57 - For the most part, the Sabres have looked like the team about to head to the postseason.
7:57 - Scott and Matt Carkner tangle right by the Sabres bench. Carkner is holding on for dear life as he must be surprised that the Buffalo forward went with him.
End of Period
BUF - 1, NYI - 0
BUF: 3:29 - Brian Flynn (6) (Thomas Vanek)
Shots on Goal
BUF - 5 (15), NYI - 9 (18)
20:00 - Final twenty minutes of the season.
16:00 - Looking back on the season, I can see where things went horribly wrong for the blue and gold. But, I was sitting in the press box with Jesse Spector of The Sporting News and was debating the Sabres' upcoming season with him at the blue and gold scrimmage. He was not sold on the team, and I was. He was right, and I was wrong.
12:34 - ISLANDERS GOAL. Ryan Miller's shut out bid ends almost halfway throught the final stanza. Now we wait to see who jumps in front next. 1-1 tie.
10:11 - Keith Aucoin is the Isles' player who capitalized off of a Miller misread on a bounce off of the dasher boards.
5:25 - Miller just made a very nice save to keep the game tied with a player in the slot all alone. He has not been tested often, but has been good when needed.
2:50 - This is kind of fitting that the Sabres' season may be extended by overtime and a shootout.
1:15 - Timeout Sabres, as the team has a faceoff in their own zone after an icing call.
End of Regulation
BUF - 1, NYI - 1
NYI: 7:26 - Keith Aucoin (6) (Andrew MacDonald)
Shots on Goal
BUF - 6 (21), NYI - 8 (26)
3:35 - Things will get interesting now as Kevin Porter is called for hooking. 4-on-3 chance for the Isles now.
0:00 - Now...on to a shootout to end the blue and gold's season.
End of Game
Buffalo 2, New York Islander 1 FINAL/Shootout
Thomas Vanek's around the world move was enough, as his shootout goal was the only one of the session. The blue and gold send 19,070 fans home happy one last time.
Well folks, I owe you a debt of thanks for checking in all 48 games this season. It was not the easiest, it was not always fun, but I have enjoyed bringing it to you the whole way through. Thank you for texting, tweeting, and commenting along the way. Hope to speak with you all again in September. Until then, enjoy the offseason from all of us along the Sabres Radio Network.