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New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders

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GAME: New York Rangers (4-1-3) at New York Islanders (3-3-0).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT.

After going winless in 10 straight meetings with their archrivals, the New York Islanders have a chance to beat the New York Rangers on consecutive days.

They can thank Rick DiPietro and Miroslav Satan for that.

DiPietro and the Islanders look to end a five-game home winless streak against the Rangers when the teams complete a home-and-home series at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders entered Wednesday's contest at Madison Square Garden 0-8-2 in their previous 10 matchups with the Rangers, including seven straight losses. DiPietro ended the skid, making 33 saves as Satan scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Islanders a 3-2 victory.

"I just watched the goalie to see what he was going to do. I was just trying to focus on him," Satan said. "He stayed in, so I shot."

The win was the first for the Islanders against the Rangers since a 3-1 road victory on Nov. 23, 2002. On Thursday, the Islanders will try to end an 0-4-1 home skid in the series.

The Rangers carried play throughout most of the game Wednesday, holding a 25-13 shots advantage after two periods. DiPietro was at his best in the opening 20 minutes and held the Rangers scoreless until Jaromir Jagr's fluke goal 42 seconds into the third cut the Islanders' lead to 2-1.

DiPietro turned aside Petr Prucha, Jagr and Michael Nylander in the shootout in his first appearance since he sustained a mild concussion against Washington on Oct. 13.

"He was at the top of his game," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said of DiPietro. "The time off was good for him."

Rangers rookie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Yashin to open the shootout, but was beaten by Satan, who scored on the power play 28 seconds into the third period. He then denied Mark Parrish.

It was another strong performance for Lundqvist despite the loss.

He has been outstanding in place of injured starter Kevin Weekes, going 3-0-1 while allowing four goals in his last four starts. Lundqvist recorded his first NHL shutout in a 4-0 victory over Florida on Monday.

"You get frustrated to lose a shootout," Lundqvist said. "You are so close to getting two points again. We're just going to go out tomorrow and show we're a good team and fight to the end."

Weekes, returning from a groin injury, served as Lundqvist's backup and could start Thursday.

Prucha scored a power-play goal late in the third period for the Atlantic Division-leading Rangers, who have gained at least a point in seven of eight games this season and lead the Eastern Conference with 11 points.

Jagr is tied with Philadelphia's Simon Gagne for the league lead with seven goals and tops the NHL with 11 points.

Yashin had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who have traded wins and losses in each of their first six games.

STANDINGS: Rangers - 11 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Islanders - 6 points, 2nd place (tied), 5 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jagr, 7 goals and 11 points; Martin Straka, 9 assists; Darius Kasparaitis, 16 PIM. Islanders - Jason Blake, Yashin and Satan, 3 goals; Oleg Kvasha, 4 assists; Yashin, 6 points; Eric Godard, 17 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 18): Rangers - Power play: 23.4 percent (11 for 47), 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 91.5 percent (43 for 47), 4th. Islanders - Power play: 11.4 percent (4 for 35), 24th. Penalty killing: 88.6 percent (39 for 44), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Lundqvist (3-0-2, 1 SO, 1.36 GAA); Weekes (1-1-1, 3.31). Islanders - DiPietro (2-2, 2.85); Garth Snow (1-1-0, 3.96).

SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Wednesday; Islanders, 3-2 (SO). At New York, Both of the Islanders' goals came on the power play in eight opportunities. The Rangers were 1-for-8 with the man-advantage.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 1-1-1 on the road; Islanders - 1-1-0 at home.


Associated Press

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