for this game

Sabres' three-goal spurt sinks Islanders

Apr 17, 2007 - 3:48 AM
UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- After Ryan Miller used his head in the first period, the Buffalo Sabres finally thought of a way to solve Rick DiPietro and regain control of their playoff series against the New York Islanders.

Miller stopped 20 shots and Adam Mair, Thomas Vanek and Daniel Briere scored goals in a 7:39 span of the second period to lead the Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Islanders and a two-games-to-one lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Game Four is Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum.

DiPietro returned from a two-week absence due to a concussion to defeat the top-seeded Sabres, 3-2, on Saturday night, but Buffalo responded after a slow start in Game Three.

New York controlled the play in the first period, but Miller kept it scoreless with 10 saves, including a pair of hard shots that went off his mask.

"You either take it off your head or you surrendered a goal," Miller said of the shots by Andy Hilbert and Arron Asham that left him a bit woozy. "Anytime the puck comes off the mask, it doesn't feel so good."

Buffalo then took control in the second when Mair and Vanek tallied in a span of 3:21. Mair opened the scoring, taking a centering pass from Chris Drury between the circles and directing the puck past DiPietro at 5:17.

"We just tried to keep the puck away from (DiPietro)," Mair said. "He handles the puck so well and we wasted a lot of energy in Game Two chasing him around. We didn't do that tonight."

Vanek scored on a wraparound at 8:38 to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead. After squeezing the puck into the corner of the goal, Vanek was credited with the goal only after a long replay review.

The Islanders cut the lead in half 74 seconds when Ryan Smyth centered the puck from the corner and Trent Hunter scored off a scramble in front.

The Sabres regained a two-goal lead shortly after Marc-Andre Bergeron was called for slashing and Tom Poti was given a double minor for high sticking on Maxim Afinogenov with nine minutes left.

Briere capitalized on the two-man advantage, putting the puck into the top of the net at 12:56.

"They made us pay, but I don't think that goal broke our backs," DiPietro said.

That was a bad omen for the Islanders, since the Sabres were 40-0 during the regular season when holding a two-goal lead at any point of a game.

Four of the first six Buffalo goals in the series were scored by defensemen, but the Sabres reversed that trend Monday as all three goals were by forwards.

"(Coach Lindy Ruff) let us know that was not acceptable," Drury said. "We got our legs underneath us."

The Islanders, who lost their fifth consecutive playoff game at home, seemed to gain a huge momentum-builder when Smyth scored with eight seconds left in the middle session to cut the deficit to 3-2.

"Any time you score late in the period, we thought we were right there," said Randy Robitaille, who made a perfect centering pass to Smyth. "We didn't execute in the third."

Instead, the Sabres controlled the final period, allowing the Islanders just one shot in the first 10 minutes and outshooting them, 17-2, in the session.

Any chance New York had getting a late tying goal disappeared when Robitaille was whistle for a tripping penalty with 1:34 to play.

"Obviously the ref thought it was a penalty and he called it," Robitaille said.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 3 0 3
    NY ISLANDERS 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 1 (CHRIS DRURY, HENRIK TALLINDER) 5:17
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (DEREK ROY, MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 8:38
    NYI - TRENT HUNTER 2 (RYAN SMYTH, BRENDAN WITT) 9:52
    BUF - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 1 (

    Apr 16 10:16 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 16 10:09 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 3 3
    NY ISLANDERS 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 1 (CHRIS DRURY, HENRIK TALLINDER) 5:17
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (DEREK ROY, MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 8:38
    NYI - TRENT HUNTER 2 (RYAN SMYTH, BRENDAN WITT) 9:52
    BUF - (PP) DANI

    Apr 16 9:21 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 3
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYI - RYAN SMYTH 1 (RANDY ROBITAILLE) 19:52

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 16 9:21 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 3
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 1 (TIM CONNOLLY, DAINIUS ZUBRUS)
    12:56

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 16 9:08 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 2
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYI - TRENT HUNTER 2 (RYAN SMYTH, BRENDAN WITT) 9:52

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 16 9:00 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 2
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 1 (DEREK ROY, MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 8:38

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 16 8:58 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 1
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 1 (CHRIS DRURY, HENRIK TALLINDER) 5:17

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 16 8:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    ------------------------
    Buffalo 0 --0
    Ny Islanders 0 --0
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: C Campoli, Nyi (hooking), 4:44; J Hecht,
    Buf (tripping), 8:23; A Mair, Buf (interference), 12:50.

    Shots on goal:
    -----------------------------
    Buffalo 9 --9
    Ny Islanders 10 --10
    -----------------------------

    Goalies : B

    Apr 16 8:21 PM