Versatile Vanek lifts Sabres
Thomas Vanek is becoming a penalty-killing specialist for the Buffalo Sabres.
Vanek scored twice, including a shorthanded goal, to help the Sabres beat the New York Islanders, 7-1, yesterday in Uniondale, N.Y.
"That was my first shorthanded goal at any level of hockey," Vanek said. "It was good."
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said he made a deal with Vanek before the season started.
"I told him if he worked hard and kept his legs moving, he would see penalty-killing time," Ruff said. "My goal is to make him the best two-way player in hockey, and he has the potential to do that."
Ales Kotalik and Jason Pominville each had a goal and two assists. Jochen Hecht, Adam Mair, and Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Sabres, who are 2-0-0. Three of Buffalo's goals came on the power play.
Patrick Lalime got the start instead of Ryan Miller and made 23 saves.
The Islanders gave up 12 power plays to Buffalo.
"We were looking for the easy way," Islanders captain Bill Guerin said.
Capitals 5, Canucks 1 - Alexander Semin scored twice, Michael Nylander netted a penalty shot, and host Washington set a franchise record in limiting Vancouver to only 10 shots on goal.
Rangers 4, Devils 1 - Aaron Voros had two goals and an assist, and linemate Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and two assists as host New York improved to 5-0, matching its best start since 1983.
Blues 5, Maple Leafs 4 - Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes scored in a shootout to give visiting St. Louis the comeback win.
Storming back from an early 3-0 deficit, the Blues tied it at 4 at 4:21 of the third period on Paul Kariya's backhander to set up the dramatic finish in the only meeting of the season between the teams.
Red Wings 3, Hurricanes 1 - Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom each scored as Detroit won its second road game in as many tries.
Canadiens 5, Flyers 3 - Roman Hamrlik and Michael Komisarek scored goals 44 seconds apart in the third period, leading visiting Montreal to the win.
Predators 3, Blackhawks 2 - Rich Peverley and J.P. Dumont scored in the shootout to lift visiting Nashville. Dan Ellis made 23 saves for the Predators.