Mike Grier, Jason Pominville, and Matt Ellis each scored in the first five minutes of a wild opening period to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers last night in Sunrise, Fla.
Tyler Myers and Thomas Vanek also scored in the first for the Sabres (5-1-1), who opened a three-game road trip. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who hasn’t lost in regulation this season, stopped 41 shots. Miller had the night off Saturday when Buffalo lost, 4-2, to Atlanta.
“I was very impressed with the start,’’ Miller said. “I think that everyone in the room recognized that our last home start wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted to definitely come back and prove that we could bring our game together and not lose two in a row.’’
Steve Reinprecht and Rostislav Olesz had goals for the Panthers (2-5-0).
Scott Clemmensen, who helped Florida snap a four-game skid with a win over Philadelphia last Friday, made his second straight start in goal for the Panthers, but didn’t last long this time. He was replaced by Tomas Vokoun after giving up two goals on three shots in less than two minutes. Vokoun finished with 30 saves.
Grier beat Clemmensen 1:11 in for his second goal of the season. Then, with Kamil Kreps in the penalty box for hooking, Pominville got a power-play goal just 45 seconds later to put the Sabres up, 2-0, and chase Clemmensen.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever been pulled,’’ Clemmensen said. “I’m not going to let it bother me. There’s not much you can do about it.’’
Islanders 4, Hurricanes 3 - John Tavares scored in the shootout to give host New York its first victory of the season.
The Islanders received a scare when Andrew Alberts knocked Tavares to the ice with 12:38 remaining. The 19-year-old, selected No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, stayed on the ice momentarily after taking the hit following a shot attempt.
Tavares returned to the bench after a visit from the team trainer and took his regular shifts. Alberts was booed the rest of the game.
Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2 - Michael Grabner scored the tying goal with 7:44 to play and Mikael Samuelsson followed with the winner 3:02 later as Vancouver rallied for its first road victory of the season.
Stars 4, Ducks 2 - Trevor Daley scored his first goal of the season on a power play and James Neal set up goals by Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow, leading visiting Dallas.
Wild 3, Avalanche 2 - Mikko Koivu tied the score in regulation and scored on Minnesota’s first shot in the shootout to lift the host Wild.