Buffalo at New York

Islanders' Tavares records natural hat trick in win


UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- This is just what the New York Islanders had in mind when they took John Tavares with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 Draft.

The 20-year-old forward scored three goals for his second NHL hat trick, and Rick DiPietro made 40 saves to help the Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Saturday and snap a three-game losing streak.

"Getting a natural hat trick is always nice," Tavares said. "We did a lot of things right."

DiPietro played for the first time since he injured a groin during New York's five-game road trip.

"I felt great," DiPietro said. "We had a better effort and a much better start."

Blake Comeau and Michael Grabner also scored for New York, 9-4-2 in its last 15 games.

Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Jochen Hecht scored for the Sabres, who got 32 saves from Ryan Miller.

The first period was scoreless, but featured several scoring chances. The best came with less than seven minutes remaining when Tavares ripped a shot that Miller snagged with his glove as he dived.

Buffalo started the second period with a two-man advantage, and grabbed a 1-0 lead 17 seconds in when Vanek tipped Tyler Ennis' shot past DiPietro.

But the Islanders had no complaints about their franchise goalie.

"Rick was awesome," Comeau said. "We also did a good job of hitting the neutral zone with speed."

The Islanders tied it when Tavares sent a wrist shot under the crossbar from in close at 7:50.

Tavares struck again at 10:34 on a power play when he backhanded Matt Moulson's attempt past Miller to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Tavares completed the hat trick when he put in a rebound at 13:36, scoring his team-leading 18th goal.

Comeau pushed the Islanders' lead to 4-1 with a shot off a rebound that got past Miller at 15:25. Comeau has scored in three straight games.

"We gave them every opportunity to capitalize in the second," Miller said. "Tavares is a very tough kid."

Ennis scored on a power-play rebound at 5:45 of the third period, cutting the deficit to 4-2. But Grabner put the Islanders back up by three goals with a short-handed tally at 16:52.

Miller was injured on the scoring play, but stayed in the game after being checked out by trainers.

Hecht finished the scoring with 1:45 left.

That wasn't enough to overcome the effort by Tavares, who has scored 10 goals in 15 games.

"John has always had a consistent effort," DiPietro said. "He's learning how to gear up for an 82-game season. It's not an easy thing to do, especially for a 20-year old."


  • The teams will play each other three times this month, twice on Long Island.
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John Tavares and the Islanders get the celebration going after No. 91 nets his third goal in less than six minutes. (AP)
John Tavares and the Islanders get the celebration going after No. 91 nets his third goal in less than six minutes. (AP)
Buffalo (19-20-5)0123
NY Islanders  (14-22-7) «0415
Three Stars
J. Tavares

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
P. Parenteau

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
A. MacDonald

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
17.0Power Play - Thomas Vanek (17), Tip-In. Assist: Ennis, Pominville
07:50 - John Tavares (16), Snap Shot. Assist: Parenteau, Moulson
10:34Power Play - John Tavares (17), Backhand Shot. Assist: Moulson, MacDonald
13:36 - John Tavares (18), Backhand Shot. Assist: Moulson, Parenteau
15:25 - Blake Comeau (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bailey, Gervais
05:55Power Play - Tyler Ennis (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Leopold, Pominville
16:52Short - Michael Grabner (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Martin, Jurcina
18:15 - Jochen Hecht (7), Snap Shot. Assist: Pominville, Vanek
Penalty Summary
14:48Montador, 2 min, Holding
19:26Jurcina, 2 min, Tripping
19:44Martinek, 2 min, High-Sticking
03:44Niedermayer, 2 min, Hooking
10:27Niedermayer, 2 min, High-Sticking
17:38Colliton, 2 min, Tripping
04:36Jurcina, 2 min, Interference
15:19Bailey, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Ryan Miller58:12325
Rick DiPietro60:00403
Game Information
Attendance - 12223
Referees - Justin St. Pierre, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen - Derek Amell, Jean Morin
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