On Halloween night in 2009, the Islanders hosted the Sabres at Nassau Coliseum. Buffalo came into that game with an 8-1-1 record while the Isles were struggling at 3-4-3.
Richard Park put the Islanders on the board with his first goal of the season.
Halfway through the second period, the Islanders took control of the game. New York scored three times within six minutes to build the lead up to four.
Jeff Tambellini scored twice and Josh Bailey added his second of the season. After the third goal, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff pulled Ryan Miller and put in Patrick Lalime.
With less than five minutes to go in the third period, Tambellini recorded a hat trick, putting the Islanders up 5-0. Tabmellini’s father, Steve (Edmonton’s general manager) was in attendance and got to see his son score three times.
Miller finished the night with 13 of 16 saves. Lalime didn’t perform much better, stopping 12 of 14 shots. At the other end, Martin Biron was perfect as he stopped all 38 Buffalo shots, earning his first shutout as an Islander. The victory was Biron’s 200th in his career.
“I don’t think we changed too much…we hit five posts,” said Miller, who made 13 saves before being lifted. “We were sharp in some areas, but Marty made some great saves and played solid. Then again, we did ring some posts and missed some opportunities and passed up some shots. It comes down to us being tighter on that side. For me, I could have been sharper, too. Coming back-to-back, I could have been a little more energetic.”
Despite Biron’s excellent night, the shutout was kept in tact mostly because of Radek Martinek, who blocked Thomas Vanek’s shot while Biron was out of position. Biron also stopped Clarke MacArthur on a breakaway.
“It felt great,” Biron said of his play and that of his team. “With the way the month started for us, to say that we’d finish this month playing .500 hockey…[it’s] three big wins against three big teams, teams that are at the top of our conference right now. To have played that way and responded the way we have, it just demonstrates how the guys want it."