UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Ales Kotalik and Tim Connolly scored in a shootout, giving the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Kotalik tied the score at 3 with 2:49 left in the third period. Chris Drury and Jochen Hecht also scored for the Sabres, 4-1-0-1 in their past six games. Martin Biron stopped 23 shots, one night after Buffalo lost at home to the New York Rangers in a shootout.

Mike York, Brent Sopel and Jason Blake had goals for the Islanders, beaten for the first time in 62 games when leading after two periods. They were 53-0-8 in their previous 61 games when they had the lead after 40 minutes.

Buffalo dominated in overtime but could not win it until Kotalik and Connolly, its first and third shooters, respectively, put backhands past goalie Rick DiPietro to win the shootout 2-0.

Alexei Yashin and Blake missed their shootout attempts for New York. DiPietro made 25 saves.

The Islanders broke through at 15:04 of the first period when defenseman Chris Campoli wound up at the left point and rocketed a slap-pass to York, who was at the right crease for a redirect.

The Sabres tied it at 17:29 when Drury found a loose puck in the crease during a power play and backhanded it home for the first man-advantage goal the Islanders have allowed in 38 chances. The previous power-play goal against them scored was Vladimir Malakhov’s score for New Jersey on Nov. 8.

The Islanders scored twice in the first five minutes of the second period to go up 3-1.

At 3:30, Sopel tipped Trent Hunter’s pass out past Biron. Just 52 seconds later, Blake sent a shot from the left side by Biron.

Hecht answered back at 5:48 with a tip-in.

Kotalik tied the game with 2:49 left in regulation when he moved in on DiPietro and lifted an in-tight backhander underneath the crossbar.

The Sabres outshot the Islanders 5-0 in overtime. If not for the work of DiPietro, there would have been no shootout.

Notes: Islanders forward Shawn Bates was placed on injured reserve after straining his hamstring during Saturday’s win at Florida. Bates had 10 goals and two assists, and led the NHL in shooting percentage (35.7). … C Jeremy Cotillion made his NHL debut with the Islanders, taking Bates’ roster spot. … The Sabres are 6-1-1 against the Atlantic Division, with three wins coming against the Islanders.

AP-ES-11-23-05 2228EST

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