BUFFALO, N.Y. Jochen Hecht snapped a late third-period tie, and Ryan Miller made 20 saves in his seventh consecutive start to help the Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Friday night in the first game of a home-and-home series.
The game marked the return to Buffalo for Daniel Briere, the former Sabres star who signed an eight-year, $52 million contract with the Flyers during the offseason. Briere failed to pick up a point and finished with a minus-2 rating.
Hecht scored with 2:51 left, beating Martin Biron with a backhander off a rebound.
Drew Stafford and Ales Kotalik also scored for the Sabres. Buffalo matched a season high with its fifth straight victory, and beat Philadelphia for the ninth time in the last 11 games played in Buffalo.
Jeff Carter and Joffrey Lupul scored for the Flyers. Philadelphia has lost five straight, its longest losing streak of the season.
Biron, playing his first game in Buffalo since the Sabres traded him to Philadelphia in March, finished with 32 saves.
ISLANDERS 4, PENGUINS 2: At Pittsburgh, Blake Comeau scored his first career goal to give the Islanders the lead midway through the third period, Trent Hunter added a goal 37 seconds later and New York shook off a recent slump to beat Pittsburgh. Comeau, a rookie playing only his second game this season and the fifth of his career, took former Penguins center Andy Hilbert's pass in the left circle and beat Dany Sabourin inside the far post to give the Islanders a 3-2 lead.
BLUE JACKETS 2, KINGS 1: At Columbus, Ohio, Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist, and Fredrik Norrena made 33 saves to help Columbus hand Los Angeles its their sixth straight loss. Jiri Novotny also scored for Columbus, coming off consecutive losses.
AVALANCHE 4, RANGERS 3 (OT): At Denver, Wojtek Wolski tapped in the winning shot 1:16 into overtime, and Milan Hejduk scored two goals for Colorado. It was the Avalanche's seventh straight victory over the Rangers, who haven't beaten Colorado since a 5-3 win on Nov. 20, 2001, at Madison Square Garden. New York hasn't won in Denver since 1998.
Marek Svatos tied it for Colorado midway through the third period. Brendan Shanahan, Michal Rozsival and Marc Staal scored for the Rangers, coming off a 6-3 loss in Minnesota the night before in which Wild forward Marian Gaborik scored five goals.
DEVILS 3, OILERS 1: At Edmonton, Alberta, Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta scored in a 35-second span of the third period and New Jersey rallied to beat Edmonton in first-year Devils coach Brent Sutter's return to Alberta. John Madden added an empty-net goal for the Devils in their first game in Edmonton since Dec. 30, 2001. New Jersey hasn't lost in Edmonton since Oct. 31, 1995. Martin Brodeur made 20 saves for the Devils, allowing only Joni Pitkanen's first-period goal, two nights after struggling in a 5-0 loss in Vancouver.
Sutter left the Red Deer Rebels, the Western Hockey League team he owns, to take over the Devils in July. Red Deer is about halfway between Edmonton and Calgary.
STARS 3, FLAMES 2 (OT), At Calgary, Alberta, Mike Ribeiro scored his second goal of the game 57 seconds into overtime to give Dallas a 3-2 victory over Calgary. After winning a faceoff deep in the Flames' zone, Ribeiro redirected defenseman Sergei Zubov's shot past Miikka Kiprusoff for his 18th goal of the season.