for this game

Sabres win 10th straight game, tie NHL's best start

Oct 27, 2006 - 2:36 AM UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- There are many reasons the Buffalo Sabres have gotten off to a scorching start, but perhaps Maxim Afinogenov is the biggest.

Afinogenov had a goal and an assist as the Sabres defeated the New York Islanders, 3-0, for their 10th straight victory to open the season, tying an NHL record.

Buffalo's streak matched the record set by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres host Atlanta on Saturday with a chance to break the record.

Ryan Miller made 29 saves to record his third career shutout and extend Buffalo's franchise-record regular-season winning streak to 15 games.

"We're obviously happy with it," Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said of the streak to open the season. "It does mean a lot to us. But it is something we can enjoy for a while and then move on. What we're really trying to do here is gear toward the playoffs. We're definitely doing a good job of getting out of the gate."

Buffalo's Daniel Briere is pleased with the streak, and thinks the Sabres should go full throttle for the record on Saturday.

"I think it's pretty cool," he said. "It's cool being part of the team that you'll hear about for a while. It's a lot of fun, but it really wasn't our goal from the start. We're here now. We might as well give it all we have and try to accomplish it."

Despite making the 29 stops, Miller was not severely tested.

"I don't mind being boring," Miller said. "Boring is good. My game is boring. No one may really appreciates the saves, but I'm doing it right."

Afinogenov helped set up Ales Kotalik for the eventual game-winning goal at 6:09 of the first period when he passed the puck to defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, who fed Kotalik in the faceoff circle. Kotalik blasted a slap shot past goaltender Rick DiPietro for a 1-0 lead.

Afinogenov, who has six goals and 10 assists in 10 games, gave Buffalo a 2-0 lead when he skated in on a breakaway, deked DiPietro and slid a backhand past him at 4:12 of the second period.

Jason Pominville scored the other goal for Buffalo, which went 1-for-7 on the power play. The Islanders went 0-for-3 with the extra skater as they were blanked for the second time this season and lost for the third time in four games.

New York defenseman Tom Poti was impressed with the Sabres but was not thrilled with his club's performance.

"They're a good team, but I thought they were ripe for the taking," Poti said. "We definitely needed more emotion, and we didn't have it tonight."

DiPietro finished with 24 saves.