Sabres Win 10th Straight, Tie NHL Record

Friday, October 27th 2006, 6:29 am
By: News On 6

The Buffalo Sabres are ready to make NHL history while the Philadelphia Flyers are just looking to string a couple of wins together.

The Sabres have matched the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only teams to start out with victories in their first 10 games and can break the record Saturday night against Atlanta.

``We all know it's there,'' co-captain Chris Drury said after a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night. ``It's not something we're talking about much as a group or at all. It would be nice. It's not going to be easy. Atlanta is a great team.''

While the Sabres have been the best team in the league, the Flyers are languishing through one of the most tumultuous weeks in franchise history.

The Flyers entered with the worst record and fewest points in the NHL, a shaky start that resulted in one of the most drastic shakeups in team history. Longtime general manager Bob Clarke resigned and coach Ken Hitchcock was fired Sunday with Philadelphia on its first five-game losing streak since 2002 and off to its worst start in 17 years.

Hitchcock's replacement _ John Stevens _ earned a victory in his first game as the Flyers beat Atlanta 3-2 in a shootout in Philadelphia.

``It's great to get the first win,'' Stevens said. ``The team needed something to build on, something to build confidence in my team. I think it was terrific the way it ended.''

In other NHL games Thursday night, it was: Montreal 3, Boston 2; Ottawa 7, Toronto 2; New Jersey 2, Florida 0; Tampa Bay 5, Carolina 1; Nashville 4, San Jose 3; and Phoenix 6, Edmonton 2.

The Sabres have quickly become the flashiest offensive team in the NHL, posting 49 goals in their first 10 games. But they used a methodical attack against the host Islanders, scoring once in each period to back Ryan Miller's strong goaltending. The 26-year-old American stopped 29 shots to improve to 8-0 and post his third career shutout.

``We gave them some good opportunities early on turnovers, and Ryan Miller made some big saves that really got our game in gear,'' Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. ``We could've been down early.''

Devils 2, Panthers 0

Martin Brodeur tied Hall of Famer Jacques Plante for fourth place on the NHL shutout list with 82 and the Devils snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over visiting Florida.

Zach Parise and Patrik Elias scored power-play goals to support Brodeur's 29-save effort. The win came a day after the Devils held a team meeting after the defensive-minded club give up 15 goals in the three games.

Canadiens 3, Bruins 2

Andrei Markov scored the tiebreaking goal with 1.2 seconds left, giving Montreal a victory over host Boston and prompting a shower of garbage from Bruins fans that convinced the officials to wave off the final two ticks of the clock.

Cristobal Huet stopped 34 shots for Montreal, which has won eight of nine against its longtime rival, including the last six in a row. Michael Ryder and Chris Higgins also scored for the Canadiens.

Zdeno Chara and Phil Kessel scored for Boston.

Senators 7, Maple Leafs 2

Dany Heatley extended his goals streak to four games with his fourth career hat trick and Jason Spezza and Joe Corvo each had five points, leading the Senators over the visiting Maple Leafs.

Heatley, who became Ottawa's first 50-goal scorer last season, got his first goal of the game early in the second as the Senators scored twice within 17 seconds to take a 3-0 lead. He scored two goals 1:17 apart late in the second, both set up by Spezza and Corvo, to help Ottawa extend its lead to 6-2.

Corvo, Spezza, Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette all scored for Ottawa.

Bates Battaglia and Jeff O'Neill netted goals for Toronto.

Lightning 5, Hurricanes 1

Martin St. Louis broke his own team record for the three fastest goals, completing a hat trick in a 6:17 span of the second period in the host Lightning's win over the Hurricanes.

St. Louis also set the previous mark against the Hurricanes, scoring three times in a 9:43 stretch of the first period in a 5-4 victory Jan. 15, 2004.

Ruslan Fedotenko and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who have won four of five. Marc Denis made 23 saves.

Stanley Cup champion Carolina got a short-handed goal from Eric Staal with 5:15 to play.

Predators 4, Sharks 3

Scott Hartnell scored two goals to help host Nashville beat San Jose.

It was the first game between the two teams since the Sharks knocked out the Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season.

San Jose's Mark Bell added to the league-leading power play of the Sharks with the first goal of the game at 11:21 as he put the puck in from close in front of the net.

Nashville answered less than a minute later as rookie Alexander Radulov scored his first NHL goal.

The Predators then scored two goals on Hartnell's tip-in and Paul Kariya's tally.

Milan Michalek and Patrick Marleau scored to tie the game before Hartnell's game-winner at 17:31 of the third period.

Coyotes 6, Oilers 2

A few hours after being promoted from San Antonio, David LeNeveu made 32 saves and the host Coyotes defeated the Oilers.

Georges Laraque, who left Edmonton to sign a free-agent deal with Phoenix last summer, scored his first goal of the season for the Coyotes, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Zbynek Michalek, Ladislav Nagy, Oleg Saprykin, Owen Nolan and Donald MacLean also scored for Phoenix.

Fernando Pisani scored his first goal of the season and Petr Sykora added a goal for Edmonton.