Snow knocks out Sabres game


Heavy snow in Buffalo forced the Sabres to postpone a game, while the warmth in Florida was just what the New York Islanders needed for a rare road victory. The Sabres game against the New Jersey Devils was called off because of a storm that was expected to dump 6-to-12 inches (15-to-30 centimeters) of snow on the city Wednesday. “It’s not ideal for either team, but unfortunately you can’t control the weather,” Sabres spokesman Michael Gilbert said. The last snowout of a Sabres home game was Dec. 10, 1995. The Sabres and Devils will make up the game Thursday night. The weather was much more favorable for the Islanders, who beat the Panthers 4-1 at Sunrise, Florida. New York hadn’t won on the road since beating the Panthers 3-0 on Nov. 1, going 0-5-1-1 away from home. ‘Both times we came down here, we played a very good hockey game,” Islanders coach Butch Goring said. “We match up well against Florida and we got great goaltending both times.” The Islanders are 2-8-2-1 in the last 13 games, but 2-1-2 in the last five. “We’re starting to feel good about ourselves again, like we were before that little streak,” Goring said. The recent run can be attributed to goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, who stopped 29 shots. In two ties last weekend against the Stanley Cup champion Devils, Vanbiesbrouck saved all but one of New Jersey’s 72 shots. The former Panthers goalie was excited to be provided with so much offense after the Islanders managed only one goal against the Devils. “I haven’t seen three on the board for a while,” Vanbiesbrouck said. ‘It puts a smile on your face.” Bill Muckalt, Roman Hamrlik, Brad Isbister and Mark Parrish had New York goals. Pavel Bure scored the only Panthers goal. Rangers 3, Capitals 2 Brian Leetch and Theo Fleury assisted on all three Rangers goals in a victory over Washington. Leetch moved into a second-place tie with Jean Ratelle on the Rangers’ career points list with 817. Mike Richter stopped 34 shots as the host Rangers ended a three-game losing streak and snapped Washington’s three-game winning streak. Blue Jackets 5, Mighty Ducks 2 Marc Denis stopped 36 shots and Steve Heinze scored two of Columbus’ four power play goals as the Blue Jackets snapped an eight-game losing streak. Alex Selivanov and Jamie Heward added power-play goals for Columbus. Guy Hebert stopped only three of six Columbus shots for visiting Anaheim. Flyers 6, Lightning 3 John LeClair scored three times — including the go-ahead goal late in the third period — as Philadelphia tallied three goals in 76 seconds to beat Tampa Bay. Philadelphia had lost four of five. Tampa Bay has won just once in 18 games at the First Union Center. Hurricanes 5, Thrashers 3 Sami Kapanen scored two goals and Carolina took over first place in the Southeast Division by winning at Atlanta. It was the fifth win in six road games for the Hurricanes, while the Thrashers had their franchise record three-game winning streak snapped. Hurricanes center Ron Francis, the NHL’s sixth-leading scorer, earned his 1,100th career assist. Bruins 3, Penguins 2 Bill Guerin scored twice in the third period as Boston ended a three-game losing streak. The Penguins, who led 2-1 after 40 minutes, were 9 0 when leading after two periods and the Bruins were 0-12-1 when trailing after two. Boston won for the first time at Pittsburgh since Dec. 17, 1996. The Bruins were on streaks of 0-5-3 and 1-16-4. Maple Leafs 3, Red Wings 0 Mats Sundin scored twice in the first period to lead Toronto past Detroit, which was shut out for the second straight game. Toronto extended its road winning streak to four games. Yanic Perreault scored the final goal. Curtis Joseph made 29 saves for his 30th career shutout and second against the Red Wings. Canucks 1, Coyotes 1 Sean Burke made 31 saves, and Phoenix’s top line was punchless despite the Coyotes debut of Claude Lemieux in a tie with visiting Vancouver. Lemieux signed on Saturday — an omen that the franchise’s long awaited sale to co-owners Steve Ellman and Wayne Gretzky will be completed next week. Shane Doan scored unassisted in the first period to send Phoenix into the lead, and Brendan Morrison tied it 209 into the third. Oilers 4, Predators 0 Ryan Smyth had two goals and an assist, and Tommy Salo stopped 18 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as Edmonton defeated Nashville. Salo, who has 20 career shutouts, has his four this season in a 15-game span since Nov. 3. The host Oilers halted a three-game winless skid (0-2-1). The Predators have lost three in a row after a three-game winning streak. Stars 2, Sharks 2 Jere Lehtinen had a goal and an assist as Dallas earned a tie at San Jose. The Sharks, undefeated in five games (3-0 2), managed just eight shots on Dallas goalie Ed Belfour through the first two periods — but Patrick Marleau and Gary Suter scored. San Jose cracked the Stars’ defense with 12 shots in the third and six more in overtime, but they were unable to beat Belfour. Darryl Sydor had the other Stars goal. Evgeni Nabokov faced 33 Dallas shots.