BUFFALO 3, ISLANDERS 0
By Jason Lockhart
The Sabres knocked off the host Islanders by the score of 3-0 Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum. Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Sabres have now been victorious in their opening ten games.
Ales Kotalik put the Sabres up by one on a five-on-three power play goal at 6:09 of the first period. Jaroslav Spacek laid it across to Kotalik who one-timed it from the left point for his third of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Sabres went up 2-0 when Maxim Afinogenov picked up a loose puck at center ice and went in all alone on Rick DiPietro. Afinogenov faked to the forehand before sliding it in on his backhand for his sixth goal of the season at 4:12 of the second period.
Buffalo got a lucky break to make it 3-0. Jason Pominville's centering pass was accidentally tipped by Radek Martinek through DiPietro's legs at 3:27 of the third period.
Ted Nolan: "One thing Buffalo did really well was block shots. It was tough to get shots through on the power play when the players are right at the point getting their shin pads in the way. We needed to release the puck quicker to get those pucks through."
Rick DiPietro: "They're a good team. Their defense did a great job of keeping a lot of our shots to the perimeter. They allowed their goalie to see most of the shots and cleared away the rebounds. They capitalized on our mistakes and we just couldn't get anything generated."
Mike Sillinger: "They're not a big team or overly physical. They're just hard on the puck. They're a small team, but they compete hard for the puck whether they're in the defensive zone along the wall or in the offensive zone trying to steal the puck."
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Ryan Miller: Stopped 29 shots for his first shutout of the season.
2. Maxim Afinogenov: One goal and one assist.
3. Ales Kotalik: Game-winning goal on the power play.
4. Toni Lydman: One assist and a +2.
5. Trent Hunter: Led the team with five hits and leads the league in hits.
Stat of the Game: Teppo Numminen 22:24 of ice time.
Game Operations: The new Islanders pre-game show was debuted tonight on the new Daktronics board. The show includes interviews from the morning skate filmed by Islanders TV. FSNY's Billy Jaffe rounds out the show with his keys to game accompanied by graphics created by the game ops crew.
Slapshots: Joel Bouchard (hamstring) was the Islanders' only scratchÂ¦Miroslav Satan and Alexei Zhitnik played under Ted Nolan when he coached the Sabres from 1995-1997Â¦The Sabres tied an NHL record with ten straight wins at the start of the season (Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94).
Fans of the Game: William and Meredith Athas from Manorville both became Islanders at around the age of five before they knew each other and subsequently got married. Williams is an avid Mike Bossy fan and grew watching the Islanders during their Stanley Cup run in the 1980s and has been a fan ever since. William met his idol after Bossy signed with the Islanders earlier this month and then went around the community talking to fans. Å“It was very exciting to meet Bossy,Â? said William. Å“If there was one guy I wanted to meet, it was him. After all these years his #22 jersey is still the only one I'll wear.Â? Meredith's favorite player meanwhile is Rick DiPietro
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
6 Sean Hill - 77 Alexei Zhitnik
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
8 Bruno Gervais - 3 Tom Poti
17 Shawn Bates - 18 Mike Sillinger - 10 Richard Park
55 Jason Blake - 79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 11 Andy Hilbert - 45 Arron Asham
30 Ryan Miller
43 Martin Biron
10 Henrik Tallinder - 5 Toni Lydman
51 Brian Campbell - 6 Jaroslav Spacek
45 Dmitri Kalinin - 27 Teppo Numminen
55 Jochen Hecht - 48 Daniel Briere - 29 Jason Pominville
12 Ales Kotalik - 23 Chris Drury - 13 Jiri Novotny
26 Thomas Vanek - 9 Derek Roy - 61 Maxim Afinogenov
76 Andrew Peters - 28 Paul Gaustad - 22 Adam Mair