UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—The New York Islanders stayed perfect against the first-place Devils, getting some offense from an unlikely source.
Andy Sutton scored his first goal of the season with 8:17 left in the third period to lead the Islanders to their fourth straight victory over New Jersey this season, a 5-2 decision on Saturday night.
After about six minutes of continuous, whistle-free action, Sutton, a defenseman, moved in from the left point and ripped Mike Sillinger’s pass through a screen and past goalie Martin Brodeur on the short side.
“I think it’s my first (game-winner) ever,” Sutton said. “Guys like Trent Hunter and Mike Sillinger deserve a lot of credit for the way they handled the puck. Hunter had it, and got it back to Silly. I just tried to be there, and Silly found me and I just shot it as hard as I could.”
The Devils lead the Atlantic Division but are 0-5-2 against the Islanders and Rangers.
“Games like that are a huge swing,” Brodeur said. “We keep on making it harder on ourselves when we lose to teams in our division.”
Sutton’s goal ended a stretch where the Devils were playing well, and sent head coach Brent Sutter into fits.
“When you play a team you haven’t beaten yet in your division this year, you’d think there would be more of a sense of desperation to want to play one of your better games,” Sutter said. “For 30 minutes, we were a very average hockey team. Then we woke up and played well the next 20 minutes. Then it looked like we never learned how to play defensive zone coverage before.”
Dubielewicz has two wins this season in relief, but in his three other starts, the Islanders were outscored 17-3.
“It felt pretty good,” Dubielewicz said. “I hadn’t had a win in a game I started this year. Our team, as a group, played a pretty smart game tonight. They kept New Jersey on the perimeter, which made my job a little easier. I’m starting to feel a little better. It was a fun game to be out there. It felt like we won most of the one-on-one battles.”
New York got on the board first when Campoli blasted a short-handed goal from the top of the left circle past Brodeur at 5:03 of the opening period.
“I made a couple of bad decisions on the breakout,” Devils defenseman Mike Mottau said. “I got away with the first one, but then I moved the puck before I wanted to, and Campoli made a nice shot.”
Richard Park fed Campoli the pass that led to the goal, and now has six assists in his last three games.
New York cashed in for a 2-0 lead after former Islanders player Arron Asham went off for a penalty.
Bergeron, at the right point, got a cross-ice pass from Campoli, moved down the wall, and tried to center a pass. The puck deflected off defenseman Andrew Greene’s stick past Brodeur at 12:02. The power-play goal was the first for the Islanders in 19 chances.
Parise scored his team-leading 16th goal with 24.6 seconds left in the period.
Madden tied the game at 3:59 of the final period with a wrist shot from the right circle.
“It was a big game for Dubie,” New York coach Ted Nolan said. “It helps his confidence, and in turn, it gives the team confidence that they can win with Dubie in the net.”
New Jersey was 0-for-17 on the power-play in its previous four games, and failed on three more tries Saturday night. … Islanders F Ruslan Fedotenko played in his 500th NHL game … Devils F Patrik Elias was scratched. He had an apparent groin injury during Friday night’s shootout win over Buffalo. “I felt tired as the game went on, and afterwards, it tightened up,” Elias said. “We’ll take a look at it (Sunday), and see how it feels.” … The Islanders drew their fifth sellout crowd of the season (16,234) in their 21st home game.