MONTREAL – Chris Drury scored his 10th goal and the Buffalo Sabres set a new team record by extending their season-opening winning streak to nine games with a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

Buffalo moved to within one victory of tying Toronto’s league record of 10 straight wins at the start of the 1993-94 season. The Sabres matched their previous record of eight, set in 1975-76, with a 6-2 win in Boston on Saturday.

Ryan Miller made 26 saves, losing a bid for his first shutout of the season on Mike Johnson’s goal 9:06 into the third.

Drury, who had two points to tie Maxim Afinogenov for the team lead with 14, assisted on Jiri Novotny’s goal midway through the first before scoring his seventh goal in five games midway through the second, an unassisted short-handed effort that put Buffalo up 2-0.

Jason Pominville scored for the third straight game moments later, deflecting Daniel Briere’s shot past Cristobal Huet to increase the Sabres’ lead to three. Thomas Vanek extended his goals streak to four games when he scored into an empty net after stepping out of the penalty box with 19 seconds left in the third.

Montreal, which blew a two-goal lead in Buffalo on Oct. 6 before losing 5-4 in a shootout, lost in regulation for just the second time in eight games (4-2-2). Huet stopped 22 shots for the Canadiens and his record fell to 1-1-2.

Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Vesi Toskala ran his winning streak to 12 games with his fifth career shutout in the San Jose Sharks’ 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Steve Bernier, Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcel Goc each had goals for the Sharks.

Toskala is 5-0-0 this season while allowing just under two goals a game with a .926 save percentage. The 12-game winning streak is the longest in Sharks history. He has also won his last eight starts on the road. Columbus has lost four consecutive games while being outscored 17-5.

The Sharks were 2-for-8 on the power play while Columbus failed to score on seven chances with a man-advantage.

Toskala, who stopped 23 shots, had all the support he needed just 21/2 minutes in.

Thrashers 6, Panthers 3

SUNRISE, Fla. – Ilya Kovalchuk scored three power-play goals to help the Atlanta Thrashers continue the best start in franchise history with a 6-3 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Atlanta, 7-1-1, has 15 points, the most ever for the Thrashers in October.

Marian Hossa and Steve Rucchi also scored on the power play for the Thrashers, who also got a goal from former Florida captain Scott Mellanby. Vyacheslav Kozlov had four assists.

Atlanta finished 5-for-7 on the power play. The Thrashers entered the game 4-for-31 with the man advantage.

Florida, which entered the game first in the league in power-play efficiency at 27.9, was 0-for-6.

Joel Kwiatkowski, Bryan Allen and Jozef Stumpel scored for Florida, which lost at home for the first time in five games.

Atlanta is 3-0 against Florida this season. The Thrashers beat the Panthers 4-2 at Atlanta on Saturday night.

Kari Lehtonen, who has started every game for Atlanta, made 25 saves.

Avalanche 6, Kings 1

DENVER – Milan Hejduk had two goals and an assist and the Colorado Avalanche scored five, second-period goals to cruise to a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists and John-Michael Liles and Marek Svatos added a goal and assist each. Goaltender Peter Budaj stopped 27 shots for Colorado, which also got a goal from Andrew Brunette in winning for the third time in four games.

Derek Armstrong had his first goal of the season for the Los Angeles Kings, 1-4-2 in their last seven games.

Stars 2, Canucks 1

DALLAS – Mike Modano scored the winning goal and Marty Turco had 33 saves as the Stars beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 to give Dallas its best start in franchise history.

Modano, who had a goal nullified earlier, scored at 8:33 of the third when Dallas had a 5-on-3 advantage. He scooped up a rebound off a shot from Eric Lindros and beat Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo. Niklas Hagman scored the Stars’ first goal 2:24 into the first.

Dallas (8-1-0) topped the mark it set in 1971 when the franchise was in Minneapolis. It was 7-1-1 that season.

Luongo had 24 saves for Vancouver.


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.