Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Vanek shines as Sabres snap weak streak against Senators

AP , BUFFALO, NEW YORK

The Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek, left, battles for the puck with the Ottawa Senators' Tom Preissing during the first period of their NHL match at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: AP

Thomas Vanek scored twice, including the game-winner with four minutes left, to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Maxim Afinogenov also scored in helping the Sabres open a season-high six-game homestand with a win and end a four-game losing streak against their Northeast Division rivals. Backup goalie Martin Biron was sharp in making 28 saves.

Peter Schaefer and Dean McCammond scored for Ottawa, which dropped to 8-3-1 in its past 12.

The Sabres, who twice squandered one-goal leads, won despite playing on consecutive nights after a 4-3 shootout win at Atlanta. And they defeated a well-rested opponent -- the Senators had been off since a 3-2 shootout loss against Toronto on Saturday.

Islanders 2, Flyers 0

At Uniondale, New York, Rick DiPietro made 27 saves in his fifth shutout of the season and the New York finally figured out Philadelphia at home.

DiPietro, 4-0-2 in his past six starts, turned aside some challenging shots but wasn't really tested in posting his 11th NHL shutout. The Islanders stretched their point streak to a season-high eight games and moved within two points of Carolina, the eighth-place team in the Eastern Conference.

Knocking off the Flyers at Nassau Coliseum has turned into as tough a task as any for the Islanders. New York won both matchups in Philadelphia this season -- where the Flyers have won only three times -- but dropped two on home ice, joining Atlanta as the only teams to lose multiple games to them this season.

Viktor Kozlov scored in the first period and Miroslav Satan doubled the lead in the second. That was enough to break the Islanders' four-game, home-losing streak to the Flyers -- 14-4-1-1 in their past 20 trips to Long Island.

Red Wings 4, Coyotes 2

At Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg scored twice, including a go-ahead goal early in the third period that was the 100th of his career, to lead Detroit over Phoenix.

Robert Lang and Pavel Datsyuk also scored for Detroit, which has won five straight to pull within a point of Central Division-leading Nashville. The Red Wings have won 11 in a row at home -- matching their longest winning streak in three years -- and are 20-3-3 overall at Joe Louis Arena.

Owen Nolan and Shane Doan scored for Phoenix, which has lost four of six games.

Detroit's Dominik Hasek made 20 saves.

Curtis Joseph faced a lot more shots and stopped 44 to give the Coyotes a chance against one of his former teams.

Blackhawks 3, Canucks 0

At Vancouver, British Columbia, Patrick Lalime stopped 34 shots in his season debut to earn his first shutout in almost three years and lead Chicago past Vancouver.

Adrian Aucoin scored the winning goal after a series of Canucks miscues late in the second period, and Radim Vrbata and Martin Havlat added empty-netters in the final minute to seal the Blackhawks' fourth win in five games.

It was Chicago's first win in Vancouver since Oct. 4, 2001. The Blackhawks had dropped eight straight here since then, and 11 of 12 overall against the Canucks.

Sharks 3, Ducks 2

Jonathan Cheechoo had two goals at Anaheim, California, and Milan Michalek scored on a power play with 3:46 remaining to lift San Jose past Anaheim.

Ryane Clowe assisted on all three Sharks goals, and Joe Thornton had two assists.

The victory gave the second-place Sharks a split of their two-night, home-and-home series against Pacific Division-leading Anaheim. The Ducks beat them 7-4 the previous night in San Jose.

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