Three third-period goals lift Sabres past Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- The New York Islanders had only
themselves to blame after the Buffalo Sabres rallied in the third
period to beat them.

Power-play goals by Daniel Briere, Tim Connolly and Ales Kotalik
lifted the Sabres to a 6-4 win over the Islanders on Saturday

"Again, we took stupid penalties, and again, those who did sat
for a period of time," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "In
addition, our penalty killing was poor."

Briere scored off a wrist shot from the left circle with 8:29
left, and Connolly, a former Islanders first-round draft pick,
netted the winner with 5:06 remaining on a wrist shot that crossed
the goal line just before the net was knocked off its moorings.
Kotalik scored his second of the game with 92 seconds left.

"It appears that the teams that adjust the quickest to the new
rules are the ones doing the best right now," Briere said. "You
can't hold, trip, slash, or anything else to slow the guy down. You
have to keep your legs moving, and you'll be OK."

J.P. Dumont, Kotalik and Jochen Hecht also scored even-strength
goals for the Sabres, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Martin
Biron made his season debut and turned aside 33 shots.

Former Sabres Miroslav Satan and Alexei Zhitnik scored for New
York, as did Robert Nilsson and Alexei Yashin.

Rick DiPietro started in net and stopped nine of 12 shots before
being replaced by eventual loser Garth Snow, who made 16 saves.

"I didn't like DiPietro's game," Stirling said. "It was one
of those nights where he just didn't have it, and as soon as he let
in that third goal, it was time replace him. In all fairness, we
didn't help him out much on the second goal."

The Islanders took a 1-0 lead 83 seconds in when Satan finished
off a rush by snapping Arron Asham's cross-ice feed high to the
short side. The goal was Satan's team-leading eighth of the season
and was the first shot of the game.

Satan is off to a surprisingly quick start after failing to
record a point during the preseason.

Dumont tied it at 3:24 on sheer will. He stood his ground in
front of DiPietro, found a loose puck, and poked it between the
goalie's pads.

Zhitnik fired in a center-point slap shot on a power play to put
New York back on top at 6:13.

Kotalik's power-play goal tied it 2-2 at 16:05.

The only second-period goal put the Sabres ahead for the first
time. Hecht sent a seemingly harmless 35-foot shot from the left
wing that got past DiPietro.

Islanders coach Steve Stirling immediately pulled DiPietro in
favor of Snow.

New York stormed back in the third period to tie it 76 seconds
in when Nilsson finished a passing play and scored his first NHL

"It was a lot of fun scoring my first goal," Nilsson said,
"but it's not worth anything if we don't win."

Yashin gave the Islanders a 4-3 lead at 7:00 with a tip-in goal.

After seeing Buffalo take the lead for good with a trio of
man-advantage goals, Stirling was succinct in his evaluation of his
team's penalty woes.

"We had chances to clear the puck out of the zone, and we
didn't, and as a result, they scored," Stirling said. "We
imploded. It's up to us to adjust, and so far, we haven't."

Biron was happy to have his first opportunity to play. Ryan
Miller had played every minute of the Sabres/ first 10 games this

"Off the bat, I was maybe a little antsy, a little jittery,"
Biron said. "What settled me down was that 5-on-3 power play they
had. I was just getting in a groove stopping those shots, and after
that, I felt fine. What also helped is the guys battled hard, and
we scored some ugly goals."

Game notes
Buffalo was 4-for-8 on the power play, while the Islanders
were 1-for-5. ... Zhitnik had a five-game point scoring streak
until Thursday's loss to the Rangers. That game also stopped
streaks of Satan (five games) and Yashin (seven games). ... The
Islanders were supposed to have Sunday off, but Stirling ordered a
10 a.m. practice.