The Islanders tweeted Saturday that Tavares was "week to week" with a lower body injury. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (team-leading 39 assists), who scored in overtime in a 3-2 triumph over the Islanders on December 16, returns from a three-game suspension for his hit on Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel on Sunday for an eliminated Sabres team that has been idle since Tuesday's 3-1 setback in Columbus.
The Islanders entered the game sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference standings, and six points behind Boston, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot.
NY is 4-5-1 in its last 10 games and will face the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
In what has been a hard season and with time running out, the New York Islanders will have to get around a roadblock at the worst possible time in a last-ditch effort to secure a playoff spot.
Lee then sealed the victory by capitalizing on Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe's giveaway to the left of the Buffalo net.
The Islanders need to keep winning and get help.
Chris Kreider tied the score with 11.6 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. The Senators have five games remaining to the Islanders four, but Ottawa is not in action on Sunday night. Marian Hossa also scored in the first period for Chicago, and Patrick Kane assisted on all three goals as Chicago extended its division lead to nine points over idle Minnesota.
SpaceX successfully launches first recycled rocket
Historically, rockets have been a single-use object - imagine the cost of commuting to work if you had to buy a new auto each day. SpaceX launched its first recycled rocket Thursday, the biggest leap yet in its bid to drive down costs and speed up flights.
"Sometimes you've got to get the bounces".
Evander Kane, with his team-leading 27th goal, and Zemgus Girgensons scored for Buffalo in a game the Sabres never led. "You always set your goals to improve on prior seasons and continue to become a better player, but you have to get plenty of breaks and play with some great players all season and the chemistry that we've had has benefited me a lot".
Lee scored his 30th and 31st goals - both unassisted - of the season during Sunday's win over Buffalo.
NY defensive Dennis Seidenberg forced Jack Eichel to commit a turnover along the left boards of the Islanders zone, and sprung Ho-Sang on a breakaway.
"I don't like resting, but obviously I can't say it didn't feel good", Ristolainen told The Buffalo News.
ABOUT THE SABRES (32-33-12): Buffalo is turning toward its future in the form of UMass Lowell forward C.J. Smith, who is expected to make his National Hockey League debut after signing a two-year, entry-level contract Thursday. "It's just me and the goalie". Islanders C Connor Jones made his National Hockey League debut a day after being called up from AHL Bridgeport. Sabres RW Kyle Okposo missed his second game due to illness and has already been ruled out from playing against Toronto on Monday.