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Sabres bounce back to blank Islanders 3-0

by Brian Compton /

The Buffalo Sabres bounced back in a big way on Wednesday night.

Just four days after being blanked on Long Island, the Sabres responded with a shutout of their own as Ryan Miller stopped all 24 shots he faced to lead Buffalo to a 3-0 win against the New York Islanders at HSBC Arena.

''We played a real sound game coming off that loss,'' said Miler, who was pulled after allowing three goals in Saturday's 5-0 loss. ''We did a very sound job pushing the puck up the ice, and we didn't give up anything that was too dangerous. We want to be a team that's in control.''

Derek Roy opened the scoring with his first of the season on the power play at 8:27 of the first period, wristing a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Martin Biron (36 saves) on the stick side. The goal came just six seconds after Kyle Okposo went off for hooking.

Thomas Vanek made it 2-0 with a power-play goal of his own with 2:47 left in the second. After defenseman Brendan Witt was whistled for high sticking, Vanek pushed his own rebound past Biron for his fifth goal of the season.

"We took some bad penalties in the first period that we certainly didn't have to take," Isles coach Scott Gordon said. "We never really got anything going in the first period. It kind of just set the tempo for the whole game. They had a few days off, and they were real sharp tonight. You've got to give credit to the opposition. They're one of the better teams in the League."

The Sabres improved to 9-2-1 and have beaten the Islanders twice at home.

''It was a real great effort,'' said Vanek, who scored for the first time in five games. ''We adjusted good from the other night, and overall played well and deserved to win.''

The Isles -- who had won their previous four games -- were dreadful in the faceoff circle, winning only 8 of 47 draws, which featured a phenomenal 14-for-14 performance by Roy. New York hadn't won five in a row since it reeled off six straight victories in February 2008.

"It was probably something that they addressed," Gordon said of the faceoffs. "Getting (Paul) Gaustad back for them, he's probably one of the best guys in the League. Combined with our inefficiency on the draws, it just wasn't a good mix."

Gaustad capped the scoring with 3:41 left on a goal that was awarded following a video review. Replays concluded the puck crossed the goal line before Biron was able to seize control of it.

The Islanders (5-5-5) will look to begin a new winning streak on Friday, when they'll play the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season at the PrudentialCenter.

''I don't think it was anything they did, I think we beat ourselves tonight,'' Isles forwardKyle Okposo said. ''We didn't create a whole lot of opportunities. When we had some, we shot ourselves in the foot.''

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report

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