|Sean Avery is the middle man in this Ranger celebration with Brandon Dubinsky (left) and Michal Rozsival. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)|
The New York Islanders broke a few team records and the spirit of the Atlanta Thrashers at the same time.
Rick DiPietro came up 77 seconds short of a shutout, and the Islanders set franchise records for fewest shots allowed and shot discrepancy in their 4-1 win last night in Uniondale, N.Y.
DiPietro needed to stop just nine shots, while the Islanders pelted Kari Lehtonen for 49. DiPietro also added an assist as 12 Islanders recorded a point.
"As far as team defense, this has been our best game in a while," DiPietro said. "What we did tonight was a real big step."
Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Sean Bergenheim scored for the Islanders, winners of three straight.
Atlanta's three-game winning streak was snapped. Lehtonen stopped 45 shots, and Todd White scored for the Thrashers.
Rangers 5, Sabres 1 - Sean Avery scored the first of his two goals 10 seconds in, and Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and two assists for host New York, who chased goalie Ryan Miller in the first period and routed Buffalo.
Henrik Lundqvist, in his first game since signing a six-year, $41.25 million deal with the Rangers, made 29 saves. He hadn't played since a loss to Anaheim Feb. 7.
Thomas Vanek's power-play goal spoiled Lundqvist's shutout bid with 6:58 remaining.
Devils 3, Senators 2 - Arron Asham scored two goals and Paul Martin had two assists to help New Jersey beat host Ottawa.
Zach Parise scored the other goal for the Devils (33-21-5), who are just 2 points behind the Senators for first place in the Eastern Conference. Martin Brodeur made 37 saves to collect his 31st win of the season.
Coyotes 4, Kings 3 - Radim Vrbata scored a power-play goal with 7:06 left to lift Phoenix past Los Angeles in Glendale, Ariz.
Ed Jovanovski had a goal and two assists, and Joel Perrault and Daniel Winnik also scored for the Coyotes, who blew a two-goal lead over the first 8:38 of the third period before rallying for their second straight victory.
Canadiens 1, Flyers 0 - Carey Price stopped 34 shots for his first career shutout and Andrei Kostitsyn scored a highlight-reel goal to lead host Montreal over Philadelphia.
Kostitsyn stunned Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki when he scored his 18th goal (at 3:52 into the second) after sweeping the puck toward the net with his stick while he was flat on the ice and seemingly out of scoring range.
Canucks 4, Oilers 2 - Markus Naslund scored the opening goal and helped set up Daniel Sedin's winner 7:45 into the third period, lifting host Vancouver to a fight-filled win over Edmonton.
Hurricanes 5, Panthers 4 - Ray Whitney scored with 4:21 left and Carolina rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period, beating Florida to extend its home winning streak against the Panthers to 13 games.
Predators 2, Blues 1 - Shea Weber scored 40 seconds into overtime and host Nashville beat St. Louis.
Capitals 3, Lightning 2 - Alexander Semin scored the go-ahead goal with three minutes left in the third period and Washington won in Tampa.