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Sabres 6, Islanders 3 @NHLdotcom

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Sabres shrugged off a shaky start to do what they've been doing well lately - win.

Chris Drury had a goal and two assists, and Ryan Miller made 16 saves to help the Sabres to a come-from-behind 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.

Down 3-1 after one period, the Sabres scored five straight goals, three on the power play, to help secure their second straight win, and 17th in their last 20 games.

``I think we're pretty fearless,'' said Drury, who scored his 13th of the season 11 seconds after rookie Thomas Vanek gave Buffalo a 4-3 lead on the power play with just under 5 minutes to play in regulation. ``We just kind of find a way. Nothing really fazes us.''

With 51 points after 37 games, the Sabres are off to their best start since accumulating a team-record 53 points over the same stretch of games in 1974-75. Buffalo reached the Stanley Cup finals following that season, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Sabres have not been in the postseason since 2001.

``I think we're good,'' Vanek said. ``We're a good character team, we've got good goaltending, and all of that is paying off for us right now.''

Ales Kotalik, Maxim Afinogenov, Brian Campbell, and Jochen Hecht also scored for the Sabres, who remain two points behind first-place Ottawa in the Northeast Division after the Senators defeated the New York Rangers on Monday.

Buffalo swept the four-game, season series from the Islanders after losing seven of the last eight to them.

``In the first period we were all over them at the start, but then we got away from our game,'' Campbell said. ``We knew we could do it, and we knew we had the legs to do it tonight. We battled back and just kept going.''

Jason Blake, Alexei Yashin and Miroslav Satan scored for the Islanders, who lost their second straight.

``It's frustrating when you have a lead and you played so well in the first period,'' Yashin said. ``We just couldn't keep it up in the last two periods.''

Kotalik opened the scoring with his team-leading 17th goal almost 6 minutes into the game, deflecting Campbell's slap shot from the left point.

New York countered with three straight goals to finish the first period. Blake and Yashin scored 90 seconds apart midway through the period, and Satan made it 3-1 on the power play with his team-leading 16th goal with 6.6 seconds remaining.

Satan played nine years for the Sabres before signing with the Islanders before this season.

Afinogenov made it 3-2 with a power-play goal near the end of a two-man advantage just over 2 minutes into the second period, and Campbell tied it at 3 with 10:35 left in the third with a power-play goal, blasting the puck past Garth Snow from the high slot.

Snow was making just his sixth start of the year for the Islanders, and first since Nov. 29 against Philadelphia.

Hecht capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 16 seconds left.

Miller, who was making his second straight start, and third since returning from a broken thumb, allowed the three first-period goals on nine shots, but played solidly from there.

``You have to take these with a smile because it wasn't where I wanted to be,'' he said. ``My teammates stepped up and supported me.''

Buffalo finished 3-for-8 with the man advantage.

``We took lazy, dumb, not hardworking penalties,'' Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. ``We were never the same after it was 3-2 because they were coming like gangbusters.''

Notes: Miller was named the league's defensive player of the week. ... Sabres C Daniel Briere missed his fifth consecutive game, and 13th of his last 16, with an abdomen injury. ... Blake has scored the Islanders' first goal in each of the last three games. ... With a goal and an assist, Yashin has 700 career NHL points.

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