The first couple of weeks of the new season have been fun for the Buffalo Sabres
-- but not so for the New York Islanders
Buffalo remained the only team that hasn't lost in regulation and kept the Islanders winless by routing ex-Sabre goaltender Dwayne Roloson in a 6-3 victory on Friday night.
Clarke MacArthur scored on a first-period penalty shot, one of four goals on just 12 shots against Roloson, who fell to 0-6-1 against Buffalo. Roloson was lifted after Jochen Hecht
's slap shot from the left circle beat him at 9:22 of the second period to give the Sabres a 4-1 lead.
In contrast, Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller
made 36 saves. Miller has been in goal for every minute of the Sabres' first five games, leading them to a 4-0-1 start.
"We're just playing good hockey," said Miller, who's allowed just eight goals in five games to lead the NHL's tightest defense. "I'm enjoying it, and I hope we can keep it up all year."
Rookie John Tavares
had his third goal in five games for the Islanders (0-2-3), who've lost twice in regulation, once in overtime and twice in shootouts. They host San Jose on Saturday night. Including the end of last season, the Isles have dropped nine in a row.
It wasn't that the Isles didn't have chances - they finished with 39 shots and clanked a couple of posts while trying to play catch-up.
"This one is a killer," said goalie Martin Biron, who relieved Roloson midway through the middle period. "We worked our way back in but hit posts and had a couple of wide open nets that we missed."
Rookie Tyler Myers
, a 6-foot-8 defenseman who was Buffalo's first-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, opened the scoring when he backhanded a loose puck past Roloson 2:27 into the game. MacArthur made it 2-0 at 14:42 when he was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down by Mark Streit
and easily beat Roloson with a backhander.
Tim Connolly's power-play goal early in the second made it 3-0 before Matt Moulson
got the Isles on the board with a tip-in at 7:08 of the second. Hecht's goal ended Roloson's night and brought on Biron, another ex-Sabre.
"I think players sense that," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said when asked whether his team know that Roloson was struggling. "You don't have to say it. When the goaltender struggles, a lot of times you'll yell 'Throw it at his feet,' and a lot of times it will go in."
Tavares cut the margin to 4-2 at 12:54, tucking in a loose puck for a power-play goal after Miller misplayed the puck behind the net. He nearly had another a couple of minutes later, but Miller dove and got his catching glove on the rookie's quick shot into what appeared to be a half-empty net.
"He's one of the best in the League," said Tavares, who finishes with seven shots on goal. "But that's not making any excuses for our team. We have to make the most of our opportunities."
Myers said the goaltending was the difference.
"(Miller) keeps us in a lot of games," said the 19-year-old defenseman, who already has four points this season. "He's an unbelievable goaltender. From the time I've been here I've been amazed. It's nice having him back there backing us up."
and Jason Pominville
sandwiched third-period goals around one by Isles defenseman Andy Sutton. Pominville's goal was the 100th of his career.
The Sabres, who host Atlanta on Saturday, played without high-scoring forward Thomas Vanek
, who sustained an upper-body injury Tuesday night against Detroit.
-- John Kreiser, NHL.com
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report