Jeff Parker scored twice Tuesday night at Buffalo to lead the Sabres to a 4-2 victory over Hartford and strengthen the Sabres’ hold on third place in the Adams Division.
Both the Whalers and Sabres have three games remaining, but the Sabres have a four-point lead.
The significance of finishing third is that the team doesn’t have to meet the powerful Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of the Stanley Cup competition. Instead the team will play Boston.
The way the Sabres played in the first period, they didn’t appear to be ready to increase their lead. They had only one shot on goal in the first period and trailed, 1-0, near the middle of the second period.
But goals by Ray Sheppard and Parker put the Sabres ahead and from then on they dominated play.
Parker’s second goal early in the third period made it a two-goal lead and the Sabres were in charge.
Buffalo plays at Montreal and at Quebec before returning home to play the New York Islanders Sunday. The Whalers play Pittsburgh and Boston at home and Chicago on the road.
New York Islanders 5, Washington 4--One advantage of being knocked out of the playoffs is the chance to give experience to rookies.
The Islanders have found several good ones. The newest, Mike Walsh, scored two goals, including the game-winner.
The Capitals, in their first game since clinching the Patrick Division, didn’t seem to have their hearts in the game against the team with the worst record.