NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Buffalo
(Monday, December 26th)
Final Score: Buffalo 6, NY Islanders 3
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Thomas Vanek scored the game-winning goal late in the third period and added an assist, as the Buffalo Sabres came back in the final frame to defeat the New York Islanders, 6-3, at HSBC Arena.
Chris Drury, Ales Kotalik and Brian Campbell each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who have won two in a row. Ryan Miller made 16 saves in the victory.
Alexei Yashin scored a goal and added an assist for the Islanders, who have dropped three of their last four games. Garth Snow allowed five goals on 34 shots in the setback.
The Sabres netted three goals in the third period to give them the comeback win.
"We can control the play against anyone in the league," said Miller. "It just showed tonight we can take charge. It's a big boost for these guys to get rewarded like that. Big goals at big times. You saw some guys step up huge."
Trailing 3-2, Buffalo tied it 9:25 into the final frame when Campbell received a pass from Drury at the top of the point and one-timed a shot that beat Snow high on the glove side.
With 4:59 left in regulation, the Sabres then took the lead after Vanek corralled a loose puck in front and slipped it past a diving Snow for a power- play goal.
Eleven seconds later, Buffalo added another one as Drury fired a quick snap shot from the slot that sailed through Snow's five-hole.
The Islanders never recovered and failed to generate any quality scoring chances over the final four minutes of play.
Jochen Hecht added a late empty net goal to seal it for the Sabres.
"I think we�re good," said Vanek. "I don't think we're an Ottawa or a Colorado with a lot of superstars, a lot of fire power. I think we're a good character team with good leadership, good goaltending and it's paying off for us now."
Early in the opening period, Campbell stopped a clearing attempt along the left boards and let go a wrist shot that was deflected by Kotalik over the right shoulder of Snow for a 1-0 Buffalo lead.
"I think Snow played a good game," said New York head coach Steve Stirling. "I thought he gave us a chance. We let him down. That's the last person I'm worried about. We took lazy, dumb non-hard working penalties. It only takes one bad clear, one play. Good teams finally score on you. That's what happened."
Jason Blake tied things up at 1-1 after slipping a snap shot through Miller's five-hole from just below the left circle midway through the first.
Then, just 1:30 later, Yashin gave the Isles a 2-1 lead after his weak wrist shot from the right faceoff circle beat Miller.
New York took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission after Miroslav Satan easily deposited a rebound into the net on the power play with only seven seconds remaining in the period.
Early in the second stanza, the Sabres made it a one-goal game after Maxim Afinogenov whacked home a rebound at the right side of the net on a two-man advantage.
Buffalo improved to 12-5-1 on home ice this season...Miller is now 5-1 against the Atlantic Division...The Sabres have defeated the Isles in all four games this season...The Islanders are 9-9-1 on the road...Campoli and Sabres' forward Tim Connolly both had two assists on the night...Buffalo was 3- for-8 on the power play while the Islanders converted on just one of their five chances with the extra skater.
12/26 23:19:50 ET