for this game

Drury scores twice as Sabres take commanding 3-1 lead

Apr 19, 2007 - 3:48 AM
UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Chris Drury does not wear a C on his jersey for nothing.

The team's co-captain, Drury scored his second goal of the game early in the second period to snap a tie as the Buffalo Sabres continued their strong play on the road with a 4-2 triumph over the New York Islanders in Game Four of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Jason Pominville tallied late in the third to seal it for the Sabres, who hold a three-games-to-one lead and look to close out the best-of-seven series at home Friday.

"It's crunch time here and we didn't pull it out," Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro said. "They're obviously smelling the blood. We have to come out and play a good game on Friday. ... We can't sit around feeling sorry for ourselves."

After Drury scored a pair of goals in Buffalo's 4-1 victory in the series opener, the eighth-seeded Islanders surprised the Sabres with a 3-2 win in Game Two. But Buffalo, which went 25-12-4 on the road during the regular season, kept up the pace in this series by winning the first two contests at Nassau Coliseum.

"These were two hard-fought games," Drury said. "The mind set is good, but there is work to be done."

Jason Blake and Mike Sillinger scored for the Islanders who, by contrast, have lost six straight postseason home games since a 5-3 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Six of the 2002 conference quarterfinals.

"We've got to keep playing the way we've been playing," New York coach Ted Nolan said. "We have to create our own breaks. We haven't gotten any yet."

After Sillinger forged a 2-2 tie during a power play with 16 seconds remaining in the opening period, teammate Richard Park was called for interference as the session concluded. Beginning the second period on the power play, the Sabres went ahead for good as Drury buried a rebound from the slot after DiPietro stopped defenseman Brian Campbell's blast from the blue line.

"A fresh sheet of ice is always nice," Drury said.

The goal was the second game-winner of the series for Drury and 14th of his playoff career.

"I don't know why," he said of his knack for big postseason tallies. "Right place, right time. It's not something I'm thinking of as the game is going on."

"For whatever reason, pucks find people like Chris," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "He has the knack for being in the right place and the knack for putting it away."

Thomas Vanek also scored and Ryan Miller made 24 saves for Buffalo, which has outshot New York, 135-101, in the series.

The Islanders opened the scoring at 6:24 of the first period, when Blake converted a cross-slot feed from defenseman Tom Poti for his first goal of the playoffs. But the Sabres surged ahead as Vanek and Drury tallied 1:48 apart midway through the session.

After DiPietro stopped blue-liner Teppo Numminen's slap shot from the right point, Vanek buried the rebound from the right hash marks at 11:17 to knot the contest at 1-1. With 6:55 remaining in the period, Drury beat DiPietro from the doorstep for his 38th career postseason tally.

"I was just trying to get a stick on it," Drury said. "Ricky made a great toe save and the puck seemed to have eyes for me."

New York battled back to tie it before intermission, cashing in as Campbell sat in the penalty box for tripping. Ryan Smyth raced down the ice to negate an icing and Viktor Kozlov gained control of the puck behind the net.

Standing alone on the doorstep, Sillinger took a feed from Kozlov and slipped the puck past Miller to make it 2-2.

Trailing by a goal late in the third, the Islanders believed they scored the equalizer with 1:42 to go. But referee Mike Leggo waved off the apparent goal, and video replay officials confirmed the call.

"It's Rule 78-5," Leggo said. "If a goalie makes a save and the opposing player pushes him into the net with the puck, the goal is disallowed."

"There was no way anyone shot it," Ruff said. "(Miller) got pushed into the net. I was talking to guys on the bench and they said that they heard the whistle."

Nolan and Sillinger disagreed with the call.

"I don't care what anybody said, that was a goal," Nolan said. "We had three different opinions and we haven't gotten a full explanation yet."

"I was told on our replay the whistle wasn't in (Leggo's) hand," Sillinger added. "I was told our explanation was he couldn't see it and (Miller) was pushed into the net. The puck was across the line. When (the call) goes to (the league office in) Toronto, you'll have to ask them. They must have seen something different."

Just 30 seconds later, Poti inadvertently gave the puck directly to Pominville, who beat DiPietro low to the stick side with a wrister from the slot to dash New York's comeback hopes.

"It's fun to contribute offensively," Pominville said of his sixth career playoff tally. "I haven't been scoring much."






  • mahtripp Sabres are takin it all!!!

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 10:12 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 1 1 4
    NY ISLANDERS 2 0 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 1 (TOM POTI, MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 6:24
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 2 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, DEREK ROY) 11:17
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DREW STAFFORD) 13:05
    NYI - (PP) MIKE SILLINGER 1 (VIKTOR

    Apr 18 10:09 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 4
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 1 (UNASSISTED) 18:48

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 10:06 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 10:06 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 9:58 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 1 3
    NY ISLANDERS 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 1 (TOM POTI, MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 6:24
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 2 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, DEREK ROY) 11:17
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DREW STAFFORD) 13:05
    NYI - (PP) MIKE SILLING

    Apr 18 9:14 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 3
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) CHRIS DRURY 4 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DANIEL BRIERE) 0:39

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 8:39 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 2
    NY ISLANDERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 1 (TOM POTI, MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 6:24
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 2 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, DEREK ROY) 11:17
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DREW STAFFORD) 13:05
    NYI - (PP) MIKE SILLING

    Apr 18 8:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 2
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYI - (PP) MIKE SILLINGER 1 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, RYAN SMYTH) 19:44

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 8:19 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 2
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - CHRIS DRURY 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, DREW STAFFORD) 13:05

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 8:07 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 1
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 2 (TEPPO NUMMINEN, DEREK ROY) 11:17

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 8:04 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 0
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 1 (TOM POTI, MARC-ANDRE BERGERON) 6:24

    Sabres vs. IslandersApr 18 7:53 PM