UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Mike Dunham, filling in for an injured goalie Rick DiPietro, stopped 31 shots to help the New York Islanders beat the Boston Bruins in their home opener 4-1 on Saturday night.

Jason Blake scored twice and made a gorgeous pass to assist on another goal for the Islanders. Mike Sillinger and Tom Poti, both making their Islander home debuts, also scored.

Glen Murray had the only goal for Boston, as the Bruins ended their five-game road trip at 1-3-1. Rookie goalie Hannu Toivonen stopped 35 shots.

Dunham, who has both of New York’s wins, got the start when DiPietro hurt his groin. Wade Dubielewicz was recalled from Bridgeport to back up Dunham. DiPietro is listed as day-to-day.

Dunham was spectacular early in the first period, especially on the front end of a 4-minute penalty kill, as he kicked aside shots from Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron. Toivonen also came up big twice with his glove, stopping Miroslav Satan and Trent Hunter on break-ins.

The Islanders, who had given up two power-play goals in each of their first four games, allowed another as Boston took a 1-0 lead at 15:09. Murray, who grabbed a loose puck at the left boards, skated to the faceoff dot and let go a slap shot that hit the post and crossbar and dropped down behind Dunham.

Thrashers 4, Capitals 3, OT

WASHINGTON – Ilya Kovalchuk scored in overtime to end his longest goal drought at the start of a season, and Atlanta spoiled “Alex Ovechkin Tribute Night” by beating the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Saturday night.

Kovalchuk’s winner came on a breakaway 3:02 into the extra period. He didn’t have a goal in any of Atlanta’s first five games.

Maple Leafs 5, Flames 4, OT

TORONTO – Mats Sundin scored his 500th NHL goal, beating Miikka Kiprusoff with a long shot 50 seconds into overtime to complete a hat trick and give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory over Calgary on Saturday night.

After the short-handed goal, the Swedish star’s teammates banged their sticks to ice to honor the accomplishment and the fans erupted in cheers when it was announced.

Sundin added an assist for the Maple Leafs, who have played four straight overtime games. Darcy Tucker and Alex Steen also scored for the Maple Leafs, who rallied after blowing a two-goal lead.

Sabres 7, Rangers 4

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Chris Drury had his first career three-goal game, and also added an assist, to help the Buffalo Sabres win their fifth consecutive game, 7-4 over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

The game was played despite the region still recovering from a crippling snow storm that began late Thursday night. Nearly 350,000 households are still without power in Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs.

Devils 3, Flyers 2

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Brian Gionta broke a tie early in the third period and Martin Brodeur made 25 saves to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner also scored for the Devils and Brian Rafalski had three assists.

Senators 3, Canadiens 2, SO

MONTREAL – Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher scored in the shootout to help the Ottawa Senators end their three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

After Vermette opened the shootout with a backhand through Cristobal Huet’s pads, Fisher beat the Montreal goalie on Ottawa’s third attempt to seal the win.

Lightning 4, Panthers 1

TAMPA, Fla. – Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis scored rare Tampa Bay power-play goals, helping the Lightning stop a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

The Lightning, who entered the game 1-for-26 with the man advantage, converted two of six power-play chances. Ruslan Fedotenko and Dmitry Afanasenkov had the other Tampa Bay goals, while Marc Denis stopped 23 shots.

Ed Belfour made 32 saves in his second start this season for Florida. He had allowed four goals on nine shots in 27 minutes of a 6-0 loss to Atlanta on Oct. 7.

The Panthers got a goal from Stephen Weiss. Florida was 1-for-6 on the power play.

St. Louis put the Lightning up 2-1 on his first goal of the season during a 5-on-3 power play at 8:30 of the second. The rebound goal came on the fifth shot – including four in-close chances – with the two-man advantage.

Tampa Bay outshot the Panthers 18-5 in the second.

Lecavalier made it 1-0 at 4:20 of the first with a power-play goal. Weiss tied it at 1 on the power play with 3:19 left in the period.

Fedotenko and Afanasenkov extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-1 with goals 22 seconds apart midway through the third.

Notes: Florida C Joe Nieuwendyk sat out his third consecutive game with a hip flexor injury. … Tampa Bay C Andreas Karlsson (groin strain) missed his fourth straight game.

AP-ES-10-14-06 2207EDT


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