Joel Rechlicz's poorly timed cross-checking penalty in the second period Friday proved costly to the Islanders, who gave up a power-play score to fall behind by three goals in the Sabres' 6-3 victory.

"Obviously, you can't do it,'' said coach Scott Gordon, who spoke to the recently recalled enforcer about the penalty after the game. "They always know. He can go over there; he just can't cross-check the guy into the boards."

Gordon said, however, that he had no hesitation in putting Rechlicz back in the lineup for last night's game against the San Jose Sharks.

"He's got to learn as a young player what he can and can't do. And he can't do that," Gordon said. "Obviously, for those guys there is some give-and- take, but that's certainly not a situation where we need to have the give-and-take.''

Though that penalty might not have been the ultimate difference-maker, Gordon said it was a pivotal point in the game.

"It didn't help,'' he said, "that's for sure."

Too early to be tired

After replacing Dwayne Roloson in net in the second period Friday, Martin Biron played in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

"These guys have played a lot more hockey than they have up until this point," Gordon said. "[Biron] is a guy who has played 60 games in a season. He's played back-to-back and, in the minors, three games in three nights. It's nothing."

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Nate Thompson, Jeff Tambellini and Bruno Gervais were healthy scratches.