The New York Islanders have the New Jersey Devils' number, and it's starting to bug the perennial Atlantic Division champions.
Rick DiPietro had 37 saves and Bill Guerin scored two goals in a 3-1 victory last night in Newark that gave the Islanders their fifth win in as many games against New Jersey this season.
"We just seem to play well against them," said DiPietro, who has given up five goals in four games against New Jersey this season. "You find if you play long enough, there are certain teams you play well against. The last couple of years, it has been the Devils."
Mike Sillinger also scored for New York, which has won four of the five meetings in regulation. The Islanders have won six straight overall against the Devils.
"Those are big points to lose" said Devils forward Patrik Elias. "We had our opportunities to get back in the game, but it's still disappointing to lose."
Travis Zajac scored for New Jersey, which had a three-game winning streak snapped in losing for only the seventh time in 26 games (19-6-1).
DiPietro was spectacular in the third period, stopping 15 of 16 shots, including one in close by Dainius Zubrus in the final 90 seconds that had the Devils center looking up at the rafters in the Prudential Center.
"There were a couple of pucks whacked away and I was able to get my glove up on it," DiPietro said of Zubrus's shot from less than 10 feet away.
DiPietro, who shut out the Devils in his only other game at the Prudential Center, had to work hard in the final six minutes.
Brian Gionta had a good chance from the right circle with six minutes to play. Jamie Langenbrunner was stopped in close again seconds later.
The Devils are winless in nine games against their New York-area rivals, including an 0-2-2 record against the Rangers.
Jay Pandolfo (pubic bone ligament) and John Madden (lacerated ankle) were both out of the Devils' lineup for the first time since April 8, 1999.
Rangers 2, Sabres 1 - Petr Prucha and Brandon Dubinsky each had a goal and an assist as host New York extended Buffalo's losing streak to 10 games (0-5-5).
Chris Drury faced his former teammates for the first time since signing a five-year, $35.25 million contract with the Rangers July 1.
Blackhawks 6, Blues 1 - Rookie Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, and Patrick Lalime made 32 saves as host Chicago handed St. Louis its third straight loss.
St. Louis goalie Manny Legace, named to the Western Conference All-Star team, left after the first period with an injured right arm. Coach Andy Murray said Legace's injury isn't serious and he'll be back in net Saturday against Nashville.
Flyers 5, Panthers 3 - Daniel Briere scored twice and Kimmo Timonen had a goal and two assists as host Philadelphia held off Florida, denying Panthers coach Jacques Martin his 500th win.
Flames 3, Wild 2 - Jarome Iginla beat Niklas Backstrom with a nifty backhander to score the winning goal in the shootout, giving visiting Calgary a win over Minnesota.