Barnes captains win over Islanders
By TIM GRAHAM
News Sports Reporter
UNIONDALE, L.I. - The Buffalo Sabres' season so far has been like a
poet who employs a stream-of-consciousness technique.
There's no rhyme nor reason.
The Sabres knocked off yet another prominent NHL club Saturday night,
scoring three unanswered goals to beat the dynamic New York
Islanders, 4-2, in Nassau Coliseum.
The Sabres have lost only once in their last six outings and, despite
owning one of the league's worst road records, have won two straight
away from HSBC Arena. The Islanders, meanwhile, suffered their first
defeat in seven games.
"We've been building some momentum the last five games," Sabres coach
Lindy Ruff said. "I thought it was a very poorly contested first
period, but in the third we played as well as we have all year."
Sabres captain Stu Barnes outplayed his predecessor, Michael Peca,
with the opening goal and an assist. Peca was held without a point
and negated a third-period Islanders power play when he was whistled
for tripping Rhett Warrener.
J.P. Dumont scored the winner and added an assist, giving him 10
points in his last six games. Miroslav Satan had an assist and netted
his third short-handed goal of the season, tying him for the league
lead in that category. Curtis Brown closed the scoring with an empty-
The Sabres shut down top offensive threats Alexei Yashin and Mark
Parrish. The Islanders left the heavy lifting to Juraj Kolnik and
Kenny Jonsson, staking the Islanders to a 2-0 first-period lead.
"We were fortunate to be up 2-0, but the way we were playing it was
only a matter of time before they came back," Peca said. "They're a
team that can really make you feel suffocated out there. They played
a typical Buffalo game and outworked us in every area."
The Sabres in the last 10 days have beaten the NHL's hottest team
(Calgary Flames), the Northeast Division leaders (Toronto Maple
Leafs) and the Eastern Conference leaders (Islanders). In that span
the Sabres also dominated the Washington Capitals and tied the New
Buffalo, however, remains at the bottom of the Northeast Division
with 27 points at 12-13-2-1 partly because of losses to poor teams
such as the Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Atlanta
The Sabres will try to break even against the Carolina Hurricanes on
Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C.
The Islanders (15-6-4-1) dropped into a tie with the New York Rangers
for first in the Atlantic Division.
The Sabres scored three straight goals on Chris Osgood, who made 18
saves before he was pulled at the second intermission. Backup Garth
Snow shut down the Sabres the rest of the way.
Martin Biron let in two goals on just seven first-period shots, but
the Buffalo goalie eventually settled in. Biron, who made 23 saves,
is 12-11-2, giving him an above-.500 record for the first time since
"It doesn't make you a better team if you beat all the below-.500
teams and lose to the top teams. You just have to get your points."
After the Islanders took a 2-0 lead, Buffalo struck with 1:30 to go
in the first when Barnes scored his ninth goal.
The Sabres tied the game at 1:22 of the second period with the short-
handed goal from Satan.
The Islanders had started the period with a 50-second five-on-three
power play because of Denis Hamel's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty
after the first horn. The two-man advantage was freshly killed when
the Sabres converted a neutral-zone turnover. Barnes perfectly led
Satan into the slot, feeding his pass beyond Yashin, who was between
the two Sabres.
"They had a chance to maybe finish the game and score one or two
goals," Satan said. "They weren't able to do that. I just jumped on
the ice from the penalty box. Stu made a great pass."
Buffalo took a 3-2 lead with 2:16 left in the second period when
Chris Gratton threaded a pass to Dumont, who beat Osgood to the far
"They got the lead, but nobody panicked." said Dumont, who was
originally drafted by the Islanders. "We know we're playing good
The Islanders had a late chance to tie the game when Vaclav Varada
was penalized for boarding with 2:45 to play. The Islanders pulled
Snow to create a six-on-four but couldn't capitalize.
Yashin left the game with an injured hand during the power play.