Final

Series (Game 4 of 4)

New York leads 2-1

Game 1: Monday, November 3rd
Senators3Final
Islanders6
Game 2: Thursday, January 1st
Islanders0Final
Senators1
Game 3: Thursday, January 15th
Islanders4Final
OT
Senators4
Game 4: Monday, January 19th
Senators2Final
Islanders5

Senators 2

(24-12-3, 58 pts)

Islanders 5

(22-19-1, 49 pts)

12:00 PM ET, January 19, 2004

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
OTT 0 0 22
NYI 1 1 35

R. Hamrlik (Islanders - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Ronning (Islanders - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

R. DiPietro (Islanders - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

Isles dump Sens, grab 8th spot in East

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Oleg Kvasha found a goalie that he could handle.

One day after a fight in practice with teammate Garth Snow left him with a bloody nose, the Islanders forward scored an insurance goal to lift New York to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

During the scrap on Sunday, Snow -- New York's No. 1 goalie -- smacked Kvasha in the face with his blocker.

"It was just a little accident. It happens once in a while," Kvasha said.

By Monday, Kvasha had recovered well enough to strip the puck from Senators forward Bryan Smolinski and go in for a goal against Martin Prusek to push New York's lead to 4-2.

Roman Hamrlik restored the Islanders' advantage just 21 seconds earlier to rescue New York from another collapse against Ottawa. The Senators rallied to tie it 2-2, after coming back from a 4-0 hole on Thursday to earn a 4-4 draw.

Cliff Ronning scored twice in his fourth game with the Islanders, and Jason Blake added a goal to give New York just its second home win against the Senators in 19 games.

"I look at it as two points rather than who we beat," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "Yes, it's nice, but the points are the most important thing."

The 38-year-old Ronning, signed 10 days earlier as a free agent, notched his 300th NHL goal to make it 5-2 with 6:09 left. He has three goals this season, his 16th.

"I was skating with beer-league players before I came here, and I realized how much I loved the game," Ronning said. "Even at 40-50, you may not be able to live this dream of playing in the NHL, but you realize how much you play the game for the love of it."

The Islanders built a 2-0 lead they carried into the third period, but Ottawa got even when Chris Neil and Daniel Alfredsson scored 1:08 apart. Stirling called timeout, hoping to prevent a similar meltdown to the one Thursday against the surging Senators.

"I said very little," Stirling recalled. "The veterans on the bench said a few things."

It worked.

Just 4:15 after the Senators tied it at 3:19, the Islanders regained the lead. Blake fought to get the puck back to the point to Hamrlik, who fired a shot that hit the right post and caromed past Prusek at 7:34 for his first goal of the season.

It took only 21 seconds for the advantage to grow to 4-2. Smolinski tried to make a pass but lost the puck at his blue line to Kvasha, who streaked in alone and beat Prusek at 7:55.

The Senators missed a chance to take over first place in the Eastern Conference, losing for just the second time in 17 games (11-2-4). Ottawa lost the season series to New York (2-1-1) for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

"We got two quick ones in the first five minutes and kind of took control of the game right there," Smolinski said. "But it was just a bunch of mental mistakes that really cost us. It happens and you just have to learn from that."

Blake made it 1-0 with 18 seconds left in the first period, when he put a wrist shot past Prusek. Ronning made it a two-goal lead 3:12 into the second, jamming a shot off Prusek.

Except for the scoring flurry, Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro was sharp in making 30 saves.

"All year long we've done a good job coming back from behind. We never give up," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "All in all it's a pretty good effort for us."

Prusek's six-game winning streak snapped, and he allowed a season-high five goals on 23 shots.

Game notes


DiPietro made three great saves against Martin Havlat, the NHL offensive player of the week for last week. ... Before a 6-3 victory on Nov. 3, Ottawa was 13-0-4 on Long Island since Jan. 6, 1996, including two wins during a five-game playoff victory last season. The Senators are 26-5-8 against the Islanders the past eight years.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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