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New York
Islanders
36-40-6
Buffalo
Sabres
52-24-6

26 SOG
39 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NYI
BUF
game recap

New York Islanders 4, Buffalo Sabres 6 FINAL

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:50 AM

Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller went from feeling sheepish to relieved. It was Daniel Briere who got him off the hook.

Kicking himself for giving up a soft goal, Miller was quick to celebrate when Briere scored less than a minute later and helped preserve Buffalo's 6-4 season-opening victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

``It wasn't very smart,'' Miller said, describing how he allowed Alexei Zhitnik to score on a dump-in from center ice.

Coming out to play the shot, which appeared to be going wide of the net, Miller was fooled when the puck took a weird bounce and sneaked in through his legs.

``I was actually trying to be safe by playing it ahead of the line and I just kind of blew it,'' added Miller, who stopped 22 shots.

The goal midway through the third period cut the Sabres' lead to 4-3. Briere, however, responded 45 seconds later, banging in a rebound off Islanders defenseman Brent Sopel and over fallen goaltender Rick DiPietro.

``That's the kind of leader we have in Danny right there, he's not going to be rattled by anything,'' Miller said. ``It feels good. That's why I'm smiling right now. I'm not going to be too hard on myself when we win.''

Miller, who got the start in place of incumbent Martin Biron, won his seventh career game and ended a four-game losing streak dating to Feb. 19, 2003.

Briere had two goals and an assist, Maxim Afinogenov scored twice, including an empty-netter, J.P Dumont had a goal and an assist and Brian Campbell also scored as the Sabres never trailed. Buffalo ended a seven-game losing streak against the Islanders, dating to March 7, 2002.

Alexei Yashin, Jason Blake and Chris Campoli also scored and Mike York had two assists for the Islanders, who are 1-6-3 in their last 10 openers and 8-17-8 overall.

Zhitnik and forward Miroslav Satan were booed every time they touched the puck in their Islanders' debut while playing against their former team.

``I'm wearing the wrong jersey, that's the normal reaction,'' said Satan, who spent seven-plus seasons in Buffalo before signing with New York last August.

``I'll take it,'' Zhitnik said, referring to his goal. ``Whether you score from 10 feet, 50 feet or 200 feet, it's OK.''

Islanders coach Steve Stirling credited the Sabres for playing more as a team in creating chances.

``We tried to carry the puck while they moved it and caught up to it with their speed,'' Stirling said. ``Our guys tried to do too much by themselves.''

The Sabres outshot the Islanders 39-26 and capitalized on two of 12 power-play chances.

After Buffalo squandered two one-goal leads, Campbell put the Sabres ahead 3-2 with 4 minutes left in the second period. Buffalo was pressing when Chris Drury got to a loose puck behind the New York net. Driving around the other side, Drury fed a pass into the high slot where Campbell snapped it in.

If not for DiPietro, the game could've gotten out of hand sooner. He stopped 24 shots through two periods, his best stop coming late in the first period when he dived across the crease and got his glove out to bat down Tim Connolly's shot.

Notes: Islanders RW Arron Asham was scratched because of a rib injury. ... Sabres D Dmitri Kalinin (groin) did not play. ... Campoli's goal was the first of his career and came in the first NHL game for the 2004 seventh-round pick. ... Dumont has scored a goal in three of the Sabres' last five season openers.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:11
BUF
PPG - J-P Dumont (1) Tip-in - ASST: Toni Lydman (1), Daniel Brière (1)
1 - 0 BUF
06:40
NYI
Chris Campoli (1) Snap shot - ASST: Trent Hunter (1), Mike York (1)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:57
BUF
Daniel Brière (1) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 1 BUF
13:53
NYI
Alexei Yashin (1) Slapshot - ASST: Brent Sopel (1)
2 - 2 Tie
15:34
BUF
Brian Campbell (1) Snap shot - ASST: Chris Drury (1), Teppo Numminen (1)
3 - 2 BUF
3rd Period
02:37
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov (1) Snap shot - ASST: Thomas Vanek (1), Jochen Hecht (1)
4 - 2 BUF
09:37
NYI
Alexei Zhitnik (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Rick DiPietro (1)
4 - 3 BUF
10:22
BUF
Daniel Brière (2) Wrist shot - ASST: J-P Dumont (1)
5 - 3 BUF
13:35
NYI
PPG - Jason Blake (1) Slapshot - ASST: Brent Sopel (2), Mike York (2)
5 - 4 BUF
19:25
BUF
PPG - EN - Maxim Afinogenov (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Rory Fitzpatrick (1)
6 - 4 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
01:49
NYI
Mike York  Tripping against  Tim Connolly
04:15
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov  Slashing against  Brent Sopel
07:36
BUF
Jay McKee  Boarding against  Mattias Weinhandl
12:42
NYI
Janne Niinimaa  Holding against  J-P Dumont
14:38
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hi-sticking against  Jason Blake
18:29
BUF
Teppo Numminen  Hooking against  Miroslav Satan
2nd Period
03:48
NYI
Petteri Nokelainen  Slashing
06:25
BUF
Taylor Pyatt  Holding
09:41
NYI
Alexei Yashin  Holding
11:06
NYI
Shawn Bates  Cross checking against  Maxim Afinogenov
16:22
NYI
Shawn Bates  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
16:56
NYI
Alexei Zhitnik  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
20:00
NYI
Rick DiPietro  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
3rd Period
13:28
BUF
Jay McKee  Holding against  Miroslav Satan
15:02
NYI
Miroslav Satan  Slashing against  Toni Lydman
16:37
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov  Hooking
18:08
NYI
Miroslav Satan  Hooking against  Paul Gaustad
19:48
NYI
Jason Blake  Hooking
goalie stats
Rick DiPietro
SA: 38TOI: 59:29
Saves: 33EV: 19 - 23
PIM: 2PP: 13 - 14
SV%: .868SH: 1 - 1
Ryan Miller
SA: 26TOI: 59:55
Saves: 22EV: 10 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 10
SV%: .846SH: 3 - 3