The Buffalo Sabres beat the New York islander 4-0 Thursday night at KeyBank Center. Rookie Zach Benson scored twice. Dylan Cozens and Victor Olofsson also added goals. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 21 saves for his 5th shutout of the season.

After a scoreless first period that saw the Sabres apply constant pressure on the Islanders, Olofsson finally got the Sabres on the board with a powerplay goal. It was his first powerplay goal of the year and 6th of the season. For Olofsson, it's vindication as he has sat on the bench most of the season. Coach Don Granto doesn't like his defensive game, and despite scoring a career-high 28 goals last year he has only played only 40 out of 67 games this season. The Sabres need goals, and after trading away forward Caset Midelstadt and Kyle Okposo, he's finally being given a chance to play. It paid off, as his goal was ultimately the game-winner.

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Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen also continues to be one the top goaltenders in the league and is making a big second-half push to be in the Vezina conversation. His 5 shutouts are 3rd in the league, and he has a stellar 2.38 Goals Against Average to go with a very good .915 save percentage.

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Buffalo next plays a team sitting in the final wild-card spot: the Detroit Red Wings. Buffalo plays in Detroit on Saturday for a matinee game at 12:30 pm Eastern. A win would pull them within 1 point of a playoff spot. They are currently 3 points back. Buffalo defeated Detroit 7-3 on Tuesday. After Detroit, the Sabres head out on a West Coast Trip beginning in Seattle on Monday.

The Sabres have not made the playoffs in 12 years, the longest active streak in the NHL. Missing this year would tie them for the longest active playoff drought in pro sports with the New York Jets at 13 seasons.

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Gallery Credit: Canva Image & Getty Image via Kadie Daye

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