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game recap

Islanders 5, Sabres 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Islanders 5, Sabres 3
Buffalo Sabres 3, New York Islanders 5

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - This is just what the New York Islanders had in mind when they took John Tavares with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft.

The 20-year-old forward scored three goals for his second NHL hat trick, and Rick DiPietro made 40 saves to help the Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Saturday night and snap a three-game losing streak.

"Getting a natural hat trick is always nice," Tavares said. "We did a lot of things right."

DiPietro played for the first time since he injured a groin during New York's five-game road trip.

"I felt great," DiPietro said. "We had a better effort and a much better start."

Blake Comeau and Michael Grabner also scored for New York, 9-4-2 in its last 15 games.

Tomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Jochen Hecht scored for the Sabres, who got 32 saves from Ryan Miller.

The first period was scoreless, but featured several scoring chances. The best came with less than seven minutes remaining when Tavares ripped a shot that Miller snagged with his glove as he dived.

Buffalo started the second period with a two-man advantage, and grabbed a 1-0 lead 17 seconds in when Vanek tipped Tyler Ennis' shot past DiPietro.

But the Islanders had no complaints about their franchise goalie.

"Rick was awesome," Comeau said. "We also did a good job of hitting the neutral zone with speed."

The Islanders tied it when Tavares sent a wrist shot under the crossbar from in close at 7:50.

Tavares struck again at 10:34 on a power play when he backhanded Matt Moulson's attempt past Miller to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Tavares completed the hat trick when he put in a rebound at 13:36, scoring his team-leading 18th goal.

Comeau pushed the Islanders' lead to 4-1 with a shot off a rebound that got past Miller at 15:25. Comeau has scored in three straight games.

"We gave them every opportunity to capitalize in the second," Miller said. "Tavares is a very tough kid."

Ennis scored on a power-play rebound at 5:45 of the third period, cutting the deficit to 4-2. But Grabner put the Islanders back up by three goals with a short-handed tally at 16:52.

Miller was injured on the scoring play, but stayed in the game after being checked out by trainers.

Hecht finished the scoring with 1:45 left.

That wasn't enough to overcome the effort by Tavares, who has scored 10 goals in 15 games.

"John has always had a consistent effort," DiPietro said. "He's learning how to gear up for an 82-game season. It's not an easy thing to do, especially for a 20-year old."

NOTES: The teams will play each other three times this month, twice on Long Island.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
00:17
BUF
PPG - Thomas Vanek (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Tyler Ennis (11), Jason Pominville (13)
1 - 0 BUF
07:50
NYI
John Tavares (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (16), Matt Moulson (10)
1 - 1 Tie
10:34
NYI
PPG - John Tavares (17) Backhand shot - ASST: Matt Moulson (11), Andrew MacDonald (14)
2 - 1 NYI
13:36
NYI
John Tavares (18) Backhand shot - ASST: Matt Moulson (12), Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (17)
3 - 1 NYI
15:25
NYI
Blake Comeau (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (7), Bruno Gervais (4)
4 - 1 NYI
3rd Period
05:55
BUF
PPG - Tyler Ennis (10) Snap shot - ASST: Jordan Leopold (16), Jason Pominville (14)
4 - 2 NYI
16:52
NYI
SHG - Michael Grabner (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Martin (3), Milan Jurcina (6)
5 - 2 NYI
18:15
BUF
Jochen Hecht (7) Snap shot - ASST: Jason Pominville (15), Thomas Vanek (18)
5 - 3 NYI
penalty summary
1st Period
14:48
BUF
Steve Montador  Holding against  Rob Schremp
19:26
NYI
Milan Jurcina  Tripping against  Tyler Ennis
19:44
NYI
Radek Martinek  Hi-sticking against  Thomas Vanek
2nd Period
03:44
BUF
Rob Niedermayer  Hooking against  Rob Schremp
10:27
BUF
Rob Niedermayer  Hi-sticking against  Jack Hillen
17:38
NYI
Jeremy Colliton  Tripping against  Mike Weber
3rd Period
04:36
NYI
Milan Jurcina  Interference against  Luke Adam
15:19
NYI
Josh Bailey  Hooking against  Nathan Gerbe
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 37TOI: 58:12
Saves: 32EV: 27 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .865SH: 0 - 1
Rick DiPietro
Rick DiPietro
7-6-4
SA: 43TOI: 60:00
Saves: 40EV: 37 - 38
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .930SH: 0 - 0