Quick start sparks Sabres

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BUFFALO, N.Y. --- Tyler Myers, Jochen Hecht and Clarke MacArthur scored in the first 2:11 of the game and the Buffalo Sabres held on for a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis scores on Buffalo goalkeeper Ryan Miller during the first period. Miller had 36 saves as the Sabres beat the Lightning 5-3 on Wednesday for their fifth win in a row.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis scores on Buffalo goalkeeper Ryan Miller during the first period. Miller had 36 saves as the Sabres beat the Lightning 5-3 on Wednesday for their fifth win in a row.

Drew Stafford and Jason Pominville also scored to help Buffalo win its fifth consecutive game, the team's longest winning streak since a six-game stretch in December 2007. Ryan Miller made 36 saves in his 300th NHL game.

Martin St. Louis, Victor Hedman and Vincent Lecavalier scored for Tampa Bay, 5-2-1 in its past eight.

Mike Smith, making his seventh consecutive start, stopped 30 shots.

The Sabres' early burst was the fastest three-goal start in team history. Myers' goal 23 seconds into play came on a slap shot immediately following a faceoff. Hecht scored 48 seconds later on a tip-in from the slot, and MacArthur finished the flurry with a scoop-in after Smith made the initial stop.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the fourth-fastest start by a team since 1979-80, and the fastest since Detroit scored three times in the first 1:48 of a 12-0 rout of Chicago in December 1987.

RANGERS 5, STARS 2

In New York, Sean Avery exacted revenge on Dallas Stars a year after they dumped him, scoring a goal and setting up three others in the New York Rangers' victory.

Avery's stay with the Stars lasted only 23 games into a four-year, $15.5 million contract that he signed before last season. The agitating forward quickly wore out his welcome in Dallas, and was suspended by the NHL in December after making crude comments about his former girlfriends dating other players. He never again played for the Stars, who waived him in February.

Avery was claimed three days later by the Rangers, with whom he finished the season after a minor league stint.

After Brad Richards staked Dallas to a 1-0 lead 2:17 in, Avery tied it 1:46 later with his first goal in 20 games during a power play. He assisted on goals by Marian Gaborik, Ales Kotalik and captain Chris Drury to help the Rangers win their second in a row at home after a 1-5-3 skid there.

Avery hadn't had as many as three points in a game since April 1, 2007. Four points matched a career high.

New York, outshot 27-25, is 7-1-2 in its past 10 overall.

FLYERS 6, MAPLE LEAFS 2

In Philadelphia, Danny Briere scored two goals to reach the 500-point plateau and help Philadelphia beat Toronto.

Danny Syvret, Dan Carcillo, Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk also scored, Chris Pronger had three assists, and Jeff Carter added two.

The Flyers ended a two-game losing streak and a four-game slide at home.

Nikolai Kulemin and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs beat Florida 3-2 at home Tuesday night after dropping five of six previous games.

The game featured five fights, four of them in the third period when Toronto's Garnett Exelby and Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell received 10-minute misconducts.

WILD 4, FLAMES 1

In St. Paul, Minn., Eric Belanger scored twice and Minnesota beat Calgary to end a four-game losing streak.

Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck also scored, and Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves for Minnesota, which allowed at least four goals in each loss during the streak.

Olli Jokinen scored for Calgary. The Flames lost for the first time in six games. They allowed one goal in each game in their five-game winning streak.


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