UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Rick DiPietro stopped 28 shots for his third consecutive shutout at home, and the New York Islanders got goals from Arron Asham and Jason Blake in a 2-0 victory over the slumping New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

DiPietro extended his home shutout streak to 185:43. The last goal he allowed at Nassau Coliseum came with 43 seconds left in regulation of a 2-1 shootout win against Florida on Dec. 9.

The Islanders moved one point ahead of the Rangers, just behind the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils. The Islanders also have three games in hand on the Rangers, who have lost six straight overall following a five-game winning streak.

Henrik Lundqvist was strong in goal for the Rangers, turning aside 36 shots.

The Islanders came out hitting and took six of the first seven shots in the scoreless first period, which featured 7:05 of uninterrupted action.

The Rangers had a great opportunity to take the lead at 7:40 when Adam Hall had DiPietro down as he crossed the net from left to right, but the goalie stuck out his left pad and just got a piece of the puck on Hall’s shot.

DiPietro stayed sharp at the start of the second period, making a rising glove save on Jason Ward’s turnaround shot 30 seconds in.

Devils 3, Penguins 0

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Martin Brodeur made 26 saves for his 85th career shutout and the New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0.

Travis Zajac scored early in the second period, and Jay Pandolfo and Brian Gionta added insurance goals late in the third.

Brodeur earned his fifth shutout this season and moved into sole possession of third place on the career list, one ahead of Glenn Hall.

The win was only the third in eight games for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils, who ended a three-game losing streak on home ice.

It was a frustrating night for Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. The NHL’s leading scorer had his 10-game point streak snapped as Pittsburgh lost its fourth straight.

Hurricanes 4, Panthers 2

RALEIGH, N.C. – Rod Brind’Amour scored the go-ahead goal 50 seconds into the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 for their season-best fifth straight victory.

Scott Walker, Cory Stillman and Justin Williams also scored, and Eric Staal added two assists for Carolina. Williams’ goal was his team-leading 18th of the season and seventh in seven games.

Nathan Horton scored two goals for Florida, and his second cut it to 3-2 with 4:11 remaining.

Florida pulled goalie Alexander Auld in the final minute, but Stillman made them pay by scoring an empty-net goal on a backhand from the blue line while falling down with 40 seconds left.

Cam Ward made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who won their seventh straight home game against Florida.

Thrashers 2, Lightning 1

ATLANTA – Jim Slater scored with 8.1 seconds left to lift Atlanta to a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Thrashers’ fourth straight victory.

The Thrashers had lost four of five to the Lightning this season, including an 8-0 blowout in their previous meeting on Dec.7.

Slater’s second goal of the season was reviewed for several minutes by officials because of a potential high stick. Slater’s shot beat goalie Johan Holmqvist, who appeared to be screened. Niclas Havelid and Shane Hnidy got assists on the goal, which ended the Lightning’s three-game winning streak.

Martin St. Louis scored Tampa Bay’s only goal in the first period. Atlanta tied it in the second on a goal by Vyacheslav Kozlov.

Sabres 6, Capitals 3

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Chris Drury had two goals and two assists, sparking Buffalo’s six-goal first period in the Sabres’ 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals.

Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists while Maxim Afinogenov and Thomas Vanek added a goal and assist each for the NHL’s top-scoring team. Brian Campbell also scored in a game that was decided before it was 11 minutes old.

Buffalo needed only nine shots to build a 6-0 lead when Vanek, from the right circle, banked a wrister in off Capitals defender Brian Pothier in front with 9:03 left in the first period.

The Sabres (26-7-3) improved to 2-2-1 in their past five games, including a 3-2 overtime loss at St. Louis on Saturday.

Maple Leafs 4, Wild 3

TORONTO – Jeff O’Neill scored with just over 2 minutes remaining and the Toronto Maple leafs ended a three-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

John Pohl, Mats Sundin and Alex Steen also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won just four of their last 14 games.

Kurtis Foster, Wes Walz and Brian Rolston scored for the Wild, winless in nine road games since winning at Nashville on Nov. 16.

Steen, a second-year forward, has struggled this year, but has impressed coach Paul Maurice with his work ethic lately and found himself on the top line with Sundin.

Blackhawks 2, Stars 1

CHICAGO – Denis Arkhipov and Martin Lapointe each scored a power-play goal, and Nikolai Khabibulin made 20 saves to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Chicago defeated Dallas for the second consecutive time this season, following a 15-game winless streak (13-0-2) against the Stars that dated to March 2002.

The Blackhawks beat Dallas 2-1 on Nov. 29 in Denis Savard’s debut as coach. They are now 9-3-3 under Savard, who took over after Trent Yawney was fired on Nov. 27.

The Blackhawks also snapped an 0-for-18 power-play slump that spanned four games.

Predators 3, Blues 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Alexander Radulov converted his first NHL shootout attempt to lift the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 3-2.

Predators goalie Chris Mason stopped four shootout attempts before Radulov skated in and fired a backhander high to beat Manny Legace.

Paul Kariya had a goal and an assist, and Scott Hartnell scored in the third period for Nashville.

It was the third time in as many meetings that Nashville and St. Louis have gone to overtime and the second time in the last three games that the outcome was decided by a shootout.

Radek Dvorak and Bill Guerin had third-period goals for St. Louis.

They entered the game with the third-worst power-play conversion rate in the NHL (11.4 percent).

Stu Barnes scored for the Stars.

Marty Turco made 22 saves in losing for only the second time in his career to Chicago. He is 11-2-1 against the Blackhawks – he lost to them for the first time on Nov. 29.

Arkhipov’s 5-on-3 power-play goal opened the scoring with 1:46 left in the first period. It was the Blackhawks’ first power-play goal in four games and 18 chances.


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