BUFFALO, N.Y. - Mike Comrie scored twice and had two assists in his Islanders debut, leading New York to a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in the teams' season opener Friday night.
Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and two assists, including the 100th of his career, and Bill Guerin added three assists, while Comrie's four-point game matched a career high. Chris Campoli and Josef Vasicek also scored in helping New York open with a victory for the first time since 2001, and second time in the past 12 seasons.
Comrie, who finished last season with the Ottawa Senators, centred a newcomer line - Fedotenko played in Tampa Bay and Guerin in San Jose - that's finding instant chemistry, and might make Islanders fans quickly forget the team losing Ryan Smyth and Jason Blake to free agency last summer.
Defenceman Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist, while Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy and Drew Stafford also scored for the Sabres, who won't be matching last season's strong start, when they won their first 10 games to match an NHL record.
Comrie's second goal made it 5-4, putting the Isles ahead for good with four minutes left in the second period. Chasing down a loose puck at centre, Comrie sidestepped defender Toni Lydman, and banked a shot in off the crossbar to cap the breakaway.
Trent Hunter provided the insurance seven minutes into the third, scoring New York's third power-play goal. Hunter capped a scramble in front of the Buffalo net, to goal coming immediately after Isles' goaltender Rick DiPietro foiled Roy's shot from the slot at the other end.