Final

Series (Game 2 of 8)

New York leads 6-2

Game 1: Tuesday, November 8th
Islanders4Final
Devils1
Game 2: Wednesday, December 21st
Devils2Final
Islanders4
Game 3: Saturday, January 21st
Islanders2Final
SO
Devils3
Game 4: Tuesday, January 24th
Devils4Final
Islanders0
Game 5: Saturday, February 11th
Islanders2Final
Devils1
Game 6: Thursday, March 2nd
Devils2Final
SO
Islanders3
Game 7: Tuesday, March 7th
Devils1Final
SO
Islanders2
Game 8: Tuesday, March 14th
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Devils1

Devils 2

(15-14-5, 35 pts)

Islanders 4

(17-14-2, 36 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 21, 2005

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
NJ 0 1 12
NYI 1 1 24

M. York (Islanders - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

T. Hunter (Islanders - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

J. Blake (Islanders - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

York, Islanders skate past slumping Devils

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- If the U.S. Olympic hockey team is looking for another player from the New York Islanders, Mike York is ready to go to Italy.

York had a goal and two assists Wednesday night, and American Olympian Jason Blake scored in his return from a concussion to lift the Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils and their Canadian Olympian, goalie Martin Brodeur.

Blake, Mark Parrish and goalie Rick DiPietro were picked this week to go to the Turin Games in February. York, a U.S. player in past international events, will stay home and root.

"I've been fortunate to have been in the world championships and three juniors," he said. "It's well deserved for those guys."

Blake missed two games after a scary crash into the boards eight days earlier, but the U.S. Olympic forward had New York's first two shots against Brodeur and put the Islanders ahead less than three minutes into the game.

He was already telling coach Steve Stirling last Sunday that he was ready to return. But he was held out by doctors.

"I think he was excited to be back," Stirling said. "No, I'm not surprised he did what he did."

York also scored unassisted in the second period to snap a 1-1 tie, and Trent Hunter had two goals in the third period -- the only ones in the game not netted by a U.S. player.

"I think he wants to be American," York said.

That spoiled things for Brodeur, who earlier Wednesday was chosen to the Canadian Olympic team for the third time. It also handed Lou Lamoriello, the Devils general manager-turned-interim coach, his first NHL regular-season loss. His only win came Tuesday when New Jersey beat the New York Rangers in Lamoriello's debut. He replaced Larry Robinson, who stepped down Monday.

"We're just worried about what we do on the ice," Brodeur said. "Whoever runs the ship will surely be a good fit for us."

New Jersey, which gave up one goal in 10 short-handed situations, has lost seven of nine. The Islanders passed them into third place in the Atlantic Division.

"Losing a game like tonight is a killer," Brodeur said. "These are four-point games. We have six games left against these guys. Who knows, those points might determine a playoff spot."

DiPietro, who likely will get the bulk of the Olympic work for the United States, made 25 saves. DiPietro was pulled in New York's 9-6 loss to Toronto on Monday after allowing six goals.

Zach Parise got the Devils even at 1 in the second period, off an assist by another U.S. Olympian, Brian Gionta, just 22 seconds before York restored the Islanders' lead. Yet another American, Paul Martin, scored a rare power-play goal for New Jersey to make it 3-2 at 9:52 of the third.

It was just the fourth man-advantage goal in 88 chances for the Devils over 13 games.

Parise and Martin were invited to the U.S. Olympic camp in September, but didn't get picked for the team.

Hunter made it 4-2 with 5:09 remaining.

York scored after New Jersey defenseman Colin White and forward Erik Rasmussen failed to clear the puck away from in front of the net.

Brodeur covered for his shaky teammates as best he could. He made 27 saves -- several that took an Olympic effort to keep out.

Parrish was happy to see the American offensive firepower on both sides.

"Hopefully that's how it will look for us in the tournament, too," he said.

DiPietro was especially good in the second period. New Jersey had nine shots and three power-play chances in each of the first two periods.

Blake took advantage of Sean Brown's miscue less than three minutes in and turned it into his 14th goal of the season.

Brown skated unimpeded and without pressure in front of the New Jersey goal when he started to lose control of the puck. As Brown gathered himself, Blake sensed the defenseman's unsteadiness and raced in to steal the puck off his stick.

Blake was all alone with Brodeur and ripped the puck in over the goalie's left pad.

Brown fumbled another puck by the right post and almost put it past his goalie, showing flashes of why he came in as a Devils-worst minus-11.

"You'd like to have a couple of those a year," Stirling said. "You don't usually get any of those at this level."

Game notes


New Jersey was 1-for-8 on the power play after going 0-for-11 on Tuesday. ... Stirling led Providence College to the 1985 NCAA final after being hired by Lamoriello, then the school's athletic director.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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