Sabres Shut Down Islanders

Martin Biron has taken over for injured Dominik Hasek. The rookie has filled up Hasek's empty locker, stolen some of his moves and even posted comparable numbers.

Biron won his third straight game in place of Hasek, and Brian Holzinger and Miroslav Satan scored to give the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

With Biron, a rookie whose flopping style of play and slender frame resembles Hasek, the Sabres have won five of their last six games and four straight at home after starting the season 0-5-2.

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  • "I wasn't part of the slump, but you feel it when you're four or five games below .500," Biron said. "Everybody's been playing well lately. Guys are skating well and we're playing solid defense."

    What distinguishes Biron from Hasek most is the star-spangled red, white and blue Rochester Americans mask Biron wore while earning recognition as the AHL's top goalie last season.

    "The new one's not ready," Biron said. "I got one in training camp that was painted with the Sabres logo but it was too small. I don't think another mask will change anything."

    Mats Lindgren scored for the Islanders, who have won just one of their last six and entered the game with a league-low 23 goals.

    The 22-year-old Biron made 24 saves and improved to 5-1. He replaced Hasek and picked up the win in a 3-2 overtime victory over Florida on Oct. 29. In that game, Hasek (1-4-1) sustained a groin injury that is expected to sideline the five-time Vezina Trophy winner for months.

    Buffalo scored midway through the first period after Holzinger poke a rebound of a Geoff Sanderson shot past New York goaltender Felix Potvin.

    "You know you have to go to the net hard, because there's not going to be an in-the-crease rule," said Holzinger, who broke a 27-game scoreless streak.

    Potvin finished with 30 saves.

    Lindgren tied it when he took a feed from across the slot from Mariusz Czerkawski and one-timed it from the left circle at 10:12 of the second.

    Buffalo regained the lead 2-1 when Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara lost control of the puck behind the Islanders' net and Satan scored the game-winner. Satan has seven goals this season and three in the last two games.

    "I just lost the puck, and it cost us the game," Chara said.

    The loss was another disappointment for the Islanders, who have beaten Montreal twice and Colorado for their only wins.

    "We haven't had much luck, and tonight was typical of how we have lost games," Islanders coach Butch Goring said. "It was a bad break and an unfortunate play, and it ended up in our net."

    Potvin kept it close with a save on a breakaway late in the second when Sanderson skated past Islanders defenseman Mathieu Biron, the 19-year-old brother of the Sabres goaltender.

    Biron preserved the lead with a save in front with 3:23 to play when the Buffalo defense lost the puck and Islanders center Jorgen Jonsson shoveled it on net.

    Biron's best save came on a shorthanded bid early in the second period when Jonsson skated the puck in deep and swung it out to defenseman Eric Brewer for a shot from in close.

    "Things are really starting to come together for us," Holzinger said. "Anytime your star player goes out of the lineup, everybody tends to regroup and bring up their level of play."

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