Final SO

Series (Game 6 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
Islanders6Final
Devils1

Devils 2

(31-22-7, 69 pts)

Islanders 3

(26-28-4, 56 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 2, 2006

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 SO T
NJ 0 1 1 02
NYI 0 2 0 13

M. Satan (Islanders - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

R. DiPietro (Islanders - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: .929

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

Hunter, Isles nip Brodeur, Devils in shootout

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Miroslav Satan has a great story to tell his new baby boy.

Just hours after seeing his first child born in Buffalo, the New York Islanders forward hopped a flight and helped his team to an important 3-2 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

Satan, in his first season on Long Island, was given the option of skipping the game. But with the Islanders in a desperate push for a playoff spot, he couldn't stay away.

Then on an adrenaline rush with little sleep or food, he scored the first goal of the shootout.

"I knew I would feel bad if 7 p.m. hit and I wasn't here," he said. "I didn't want to leave the guys in this battle by themselves."

Trent Hunter then smacked a shot between Martin Brodeur's pads in the second round to clinch the win and keep the Canadian Olympian from earning his 30th victory.

Brodeur, who beat Philadelphia in a shootout on Wednesday night in the Devils' first game after the Olympic break, is trying to become the first player to have 30 wins in 10 straight seasons. He's the only goalie with more than eight in a row.

"It seems to be the main number for a lot of goalies," Brodeur said. "I wish I could have gotten it, but I'll have more chances at it."

Satan braved the snow in Buffalo that he said was worse than in New York. He decided around noon that he would make the trip and arrived at Nassau Coliseum about 2½ hours before the faceoff. He plans to return to Buffalo on Friday.

"I have three kids of my own, so I know what that day is like," Islanders coach Brad Shaw said. "I said to him in overtime that Miro Jr. probably needs a goal. He sort of smiled and waited until the shootout."

The puck briefly slid off Satan's stick as he came in on Brodeur. He moved to his left to gather it and then scored his fourth shootout goal in seven tries with a forehand-to-backhand move.

"He lost the puck, which I think might have confused him. I certainly know it confused me," said Brodeur, after the Devils fell to 7-3 in shootouts.

Viktor Kozlov and John Madden were stopped by U.S. Olympic goalie Rick DiPietro, who made 26 regular saves.

New York's Alexei Zhitnik assisted on power-play goals in the second period by Brent Sopel and Jason Blake. Scott Gomez and Jay Pandolfo scored for New Jersey, which lost to New York for the second time in three games. The Islanders are 4-1-1 against the Devils this season.

"If we could use that same recipe for other games, we'd be in good shape," DiPietro said.

Pandolfo, one of 11 U.S. players in the Devils' lineup, took a pass at the edge of the left circle from fellow American Brian Rafalski and ripped a shot past DiPietro 8:45 into the third period to tie it.

Brodeur did the rest for the Devils in the third, stacking his pads to turn aside Mike York when New Jersey trailed 2-1 and then made a brilliant stop on a chance in front with just 1:05 remaining in regulation.

Brodeur then blocked Satan's point-blank shot in the final minute of overtime, finishing with 38 saves before the shootout.

New York is trying to make a statement in the week before the trade deadline that it is still in the running for its fourth straight playoff appearance. The Islanders are 12th place in the Eastern Conference, eight points out of the final spot.

Zhitnik earned an assist on defense partner Sopel's first goal in 36 games at 8:35 of the middle frame and then picked up another when Blake snapped a 1-1 tie at 12:20.

DiPietro was sharp in his first start after playing four of the United States' six games in the Olympics. He played the third period of New York's 5-3 loss to Montreal on Tuesday night

The Devils, who had only six shots in the second period, got even 1:18 after Sopel scored on Gomez's 21st goal.

Zhitnik showed again that he has recovered from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the Olympics and New York's five games before the break.

Blake won a faceoff back to Zhitnik at the left point for a shot that kicked off Mark Parrish and back over to Blake -- another U.S. Olympian -- who popped in the rebound for his 22nd goal.

Game notes


Devils defenseman Richard Matvichuk sat out because of a stomach virus. Matvichuk, who logged 21:06 of ice time Wednesday against Philadelphia, was replaced in the lineup by Brown -- making his first appearance since Jan. 7. ... The teams will meet twice more in 12 days.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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