BUFFALO 3, ISLANDERS 1
Three different Buffalo Sabres scored and Ryan Miller made 29 saves to defeat the Islanders 3-1 on New Year's Day at the HSBC Arena.
Paul Gaustad chipped home a rebound at 8:06 of the first period on the power play to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead after one period.
Arron Asham almost got the equalizer with a rising slapshot later in the first, but Miller was saved by the crossbar.
Five minutes into the second period, Rick DiPietro made a splendid stop on Thomas Vanek right at the doorstep to keep it a one-goal game.
But later in the period, with 8:33 remaining in the second, Maxim Afinogenov roofed a wrist shot on a two-on-one to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead.
The Islanders got on the board, 8:19 into the third period. Asham slipped a pass to Jason Blake who deked to the backhand to beat Miller and stop his shutout bid.
With time winding down, the Islanders pressured, but Miller would not give an inch. Jochen Hecht added an empty-netter with 15.5 seconds remaining.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Ryan Miller: Stopped 29 of 30 shots for the victory
2. Maxim Afinogenov: Used his speed and hands to capitalize on the rush and tallied an assist
3. Jason Blake: Tallied the only Islanders goal
4. Paul Gaustad: Banged home the first goal of the game
5. Arron Asham: Hit a post and set-up Blake for the goal
Stat of the Game: Jochen Hecht had ten shots on goal before scoring an empty-netter on his eleventh.
Slapshots: Freddy Meyer (back) and Radek Martinek (foot) were tonight's scratches...Ted Nolan returned to Buffalo after coaching his final game with the Sabres on May 11, 1997.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli 38 Allan Rourke
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
45 Arron Asham - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
25 Viktor Kozlov - 27 Randy Robitaille - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 17 Shawn Bates - 10 Richard Park
30 Ryan Miller
43 Martin Biron
45 Dmitri Kalinin - 27 Teppo Numminen
6 Jaroslav Spacek - 51 Brian Campbell
10 Henrik Tallinder - 5 Toni Lydman
55 Jochen Hecht - 48 Daniel Briere - 29 Jason Pominville
26 Thomas Vanek - 9 Derek Roy - 61 Maxim Afinogenov
28 Paul Gaustad - 23 Chris Drury - 12 Ales Kotalik
76 Andrew Peters - 22 Adam Mair - 13 Jiri Novotny