BUFFALO, N.Y. – Daniel Briere scored two goals and set up another, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-4 season-opening victory over the New York Islanders.

Maxim Afinogenov scored twice, J.P. Dumont had a goal and an assist and Brian Campbell added a goal in a game Buffalo never trailed. Ryan Miller stopped 22 shots and overcame a very soft goal to win his seventh career game and end a four-game losing streak dating to February 19, 2003.

Alexei Zhitnik, Alexei Yashin, Jason Blake and Chris Campoli scored and Mike York had two assists for the Islanders, who are 1-6-3 in their last 10 openers and 8-17-8 overall.

Zhitnik and forward Miroslav Satan were both booed every time they touched the puck making their Islanders’ debut while playing against their former team.

Down 4-2, the Islanders pulled within one on a fortunate bounce when Zhitnik dumped the puck in from center ice. Miller was too casual coming out to play the puck, which took a weird hop and bounced in through his legs.

Briere responded with his second goal 45 seconds later, banging a rebound in off Islanders defenseman Brent Sopel and over fallen goaltender Rick DiPietro.

Blake scored a power-play goal, but Afinogenov sealed the win scoring into an empty net with 35 seconds remaining.

After Buffalo squandered two one-goal leads, Campbell put the Sabres ahead 3-2 with 4 minutes left in the second period. Buffalo was pressing when Chris Drury got to a loose puck behind the New York net. Driving around the other side, Drury fed a pass into the high slot where Campbell snapped it in.

DiPietro kept the game close, stopping 24 shots through two periods, and finished with 33 saves. His best stop came late in the first period when he dived across the crease and got his glove out to bat down Tim Connolly’s shot.

Notes: Islanders RW Arron Asham was scratched because of a rib injury. … Sabres D Dmitri Kalinin (groin) did not play. … Campoli’s goal was the first of his career and came in the first NHL game for the 2004 seventh-round pick. … Dumont has scored a goal in three of the Sabres’ last five season openers.

AP-ES-10-05-05 2135EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.