Islanders overmatched by Sabres (10-0)

October 27th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Islanders overmatched by Sabres (10-0)

NEW YORK - Ted Nolan insisted all along that it was more important for the Islanders to pick up two points on Thursday night than it was for him to beat his former employers. But defeating the Sabres remains something no coach or team in the NHL has been able to accomplish this season.
Ryan Miller made 29 saves for the first shutout of Buffalo's remarkable season-opening run, which it extended to an NHL-record-tying 10 straight victories with a 3-0 win over the overmatched Isles before 8,861 at the Coliseum. Toronto also started 10-0-0 in 1993-94.
"We didn't compete as well as we should have," said Nolan, who was facing Buffalo for the first time since leaving his previous NHL coaching stop following the 1996-97 season. "We played okay . . . but if you're happy with okay, you're in the wrong business."
The loss halted a more modest streak of five straight games in which the Isles had earned at least one point (3-0-2). The Sabres also have won 15 consecutive regular-season games dating back to their five-game run at the end of the 2005-06 campaign. The 1992-93 Penguins own that record with 17 straight wins.
"They're as good as advertised," center Mike Sillinger said of the Sabres. "A lot has to happen to win 10 in a row in this league. It's not a fluke. . . . But I thought we played with them, for awhile."
The Isles handed Buffalo 1:41 of 5-on-3 power-play time barely five minutes into the game, with penalties to slow-footed defenseman Sean Hill and winger Richard Park. Buffalo - which has averaged 4.9 goals per game over its 10 wins and had won its last five by a combined 31-12 score - cashed in on Ales Kotalik's one-timer past Rick DiPietro's glove at 6:09.
Maxim Afinogenov added a breakaway goal early in the second and Jason Pominville also scored in the third for the Sabres, who'll try to roll an 11 tomorrow against Atlanta.
"Everyone's pretty humble about it," said Miller, who encountered little traffic from the Isles in front of his net. "No one's getting ahead of themselves here."

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