The previously surging New York Islanders are hitting the skids at the worst possible time.
If they don't find their game quickly, their first playoff appearance in six years might be a short one.
Buffalo's Thomas Vanek scored the lone goal in the shootout and Ryan Miller made 30 saves before the tiebreaker to lead the Sabres in a 2-1 victory over the Islanders on Friday night in the final regular season game for both teams.
Miller, playing in his 500th game with the Sabres, sealed the win when he stopped John Tavares' shot in the third round of the shootout. Brian Flynn scored in regulation for the Sabres off an assist from Vanek.
Keith Aucoin scored and Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves through overtime for the Islanders, who moved up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference but will need help to stay there. The Islanders (24-17-7) lead the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators by one point, but the Rangers have one game left, and Ottawa has two remaining this weekend.
''If we're g...