NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Buffalo
(Friday, October 5th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 6, Buffalo 4
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Mike Comrie scored twice and added two assists, and the New York Islanders outlasted the Buffalo Sabres, 6-4, in the season- opener for both clubs.
The game, the first in a home-and-home, is a rematch of an Eastern Conference quarterfinals matchup from last season, in which top-seeded Buffalo needed only five games to advance.
Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and two assists, and Bill Guerin had three helpers for the Islanders, who made the playoffs last season as the eighth seed in the East. Rick DiPietro, after allowing three goals on his first 12 shots in a wild first period, rebounded, saving 22 of 26 shots.
"It's only one game, we can't get too excited but it was a good way to start for us," said Comrie.
Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and an assist for Buffalo, coming off a season in which it won its first-ever Presidents Trophy, but fell in the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive season. Ryan Miller was lit up for six scores on 34 shots.
Spacek got the Sabres on the board barely three minutes in when he slapped a shot on goal from the blueline that deflected past DiPietro.
Josef Vasicek answered for the Islanders, though, with his tally at 9:16 of the period, from Bruno Gervais and Miroslav Satan.
Derek Roy put the Sabres back on top with his one-timer, as Maxim Afinogenov found him on a pass across the crease that Roy deposited behind DiPietro for a 2-1 lead with 7:56 left in the period.
"We were trying to press a little bit too much instead if trying to keep it simple and making the easy play," Roy said. "We definitely didn't play as well defensively as we could have. The puck was bouncing a lot and they got a lot of the bounces. On the defensive aspect we've got to tighten up."
The scoring was far from done in the first, though, as a two-man advantage for the Islanders produced two New York scores. Fedotenko tallied the first power- play goal, at 16:08, and assisted on the second, taking Comrie's feed and flipping the puck to Chris Campoli in front of the net, who tapped it in, just 34 seconds later, for a 3-2 lead.
Drew Stafford scored, though, with just 1:41 left in the period to draw the teams even at 3-3, which is where at stood at the intermission.
Comrie put the Islanders back on top with his score at 7:35 of the second period, but Thomas Vanek answered with a slap per past DiPietro just under a minute later, and again the game was tied, this time at 4-4.
Comrie's second score of the period, though, vaulted the Isles back on top, 5-4, with 5:56 left.
The Islanders pushed ahead by two with another power-play score in the third period. The Sabres had a rush despite being a man down, but when they couldn't capitalize, it created a 4-on-2 rush for the Isles. Michael Sillinger and Gervais registered shots before Trent Hunter pulled back a rebound and flipped it past Miller, giving the Isles a two-goal lead with 12:55 remaining in regulation.
Buffalo had won seven of the last eight meetings between the two. New York had dropped four straight in Buffalo, where it hadn't won since February 27, 2004...The Islanders will host the Sabres Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum...The Isles were 3-for-4 on the power-play, while the Sabres did not score on four power-play opportunities.
10/05 23:25:07 ET