Isles' Tambellini nets hat trick in win
Martin Biron earned his 200th NHL win and 26th career shutout and Jeff Tambellini scored his first career hat trick as the New York Islanders routed the Buffalo Sabres 5-0 Saturday night to stretch their winning streak to three games.
Biron made 38 saves in his first victory with the Islanders since joining the club during the off-season. He was 0-3-2 in his first six outings with the team.
Tambellini, who never had a two-goal game in his first four NHL seasons, now has two in his last four games. The Islanders won for the third time in four days to improve to 4-4-5.
"We found the way we want to play and how we can respond against good teams," Biron said. "I think everybody is starting to understand each other a little bit better."
Richard Park and Josh Bailey added goals for New York, which also beat the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals this week.
"This puts us right in the thick of things in the East," Tambellini said. "We're finding a way to [get] goals from more than just our top line."
Biron turned aside 10 power-play shots for his first shutout since Feb. 25, when he was with Philadelphia.
Tambellini scored his first two goals 3:04 apart in the second period. His second goal, scored at 12:20, forced Buffalo to pull starting goalie Ryan Miller after the Islanders built a 3-0 lead. Miller was 8-0 with a sparkling 1.65 goals-against average before he allowed three goals on 16 shots.
Sabres get rattled
The Sabres, who like the Islanders played for the second straight night, had their four-game winning streak ended. Buffalo went 0-for-5 on the power play.
Park opened the scoring 17:13 into the game, stealing the puck from a rushing Tyler Myers in the Buffalo zone before firing a left-circle wristshot past Miller for his first of the season.
Biron was sharp early, stopping eight first-period power-play shots. Jason Pominville had five of Buffalo's 14 first-period shots and finished with a game-high seven.
A three-goal second period rattled the Sabres, who lost their first road game (4-1).
"We've had our chances and scoring hasn't come easy for us," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "I'm encouraged that every night it's been a different line that's made the difference."
Sean Bergenheim set up Tambellini's first goal by skating behind Buffalo's net before completing a spinning backhand pass to Tambellini, who fired a between-the-legs shot at the right post 9:16 into the period.
Minutes later, Islanders captain Doug Weight also found room behind the net, setting up Tambellini's one-timer for a 3-0 lead. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff replaced Miller with Patrick Lalime.
Lalime was on the ice barely three minutes before Bailey's shot from the high slot found the net to make it 4-0.
Tambellini tipped in an insurance marker with 4:18 left as the sparse crowd chanted his name and hats crashed to the ice — including a New York Jets football helmet.
Weight, who returned to the lineup this week after recovering from the swine flu, was given a penalty shot with 13 seconds left but was stopped by Lalime's pad.