There were no on-ice signs that the New York Islanders missed Chris Simon.
They played with energy, focus, drive, and made it a very busy night for Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller. They just couldn't score enough, which isn't Simon's job anyway.
Maxim Afinogenov scored with 2:17 left in the third period, just as Buffalo's sixth power play ended, and Miller made 42 saves to lift the Sabres to a 2-1 victory over the host New York Islanders last night.
New York even outhit the Sabres, 25-10, despite the loss of Simon, who earlier in the day was handed a 30-game suspension.
The Islanders' lone goal was scored by their resident hardest hitter, Brendan Witt, who tied the game in the third period with his first goal in nearly a year.
"We did everything but score," Islanders captain Bill Guerin said. "We have the hard work part down, but it's still a loss."
Dealing with their seventh loss in eight games (1-6-1), despite a 43-17 shots advantage, was also tough to take.
After five failed Buffalo advantages, Afinogenov took a cross-zone pass from Brian Campbell in the right circle. With a knee down on the dot, Afinogenov got just enough of the puck to send it past the right arm of Rick DiPietro.
That helped Buffalo win its fourth straight.
Derek Roy also scored for the Sabres, who split the four-game series after losing twice to the Islanders in the first two games of the season.
It took a rare goal from Witt on New York's 30th shot for the Islanders to tie it at 3:50 of the third period.
Blackhawks 5, Predators 2 - In Chicago, Robert Lang and Patrick Sharp each scored two goals, and the Blackhawks defeated Nashville, handing the Predators their fifth straight loss.
Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Blackhawks, who ended a two-game losing streak and won for only the second time in their last eight. Martin Havlat had three assists.
Sharp's first goal was his league-leading sixth shorthanded.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves for Chicago.
J.P Dumont and Radek Bonk had power-play goals for the Predators, who have lost seven of their last eight.
Red Wings 6, Kings 2 - Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary each had a goal and an assist to lift Detroit at home.
Jiri Hudler, Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, and Valtteri Filppula got the Red Wings' other goals. Niklas Kronwall had four assists for his career-high point total and Dominik Hasek made 18 saves.
Ducks 2, Avalanche 1 - Mathieu Schneider scored at 3:31 of the overtime frame to give Anaheim the victory at home.