After an ominous beginning to the season, the New York Islanders rebounded on a seven-game homestand.
The Islanders look to carry the momentum back on the road against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at Continental Airlines Arena.
New York (5-4-2) only has one road win, a 5-4 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 11 to end a season-opening three-game losing streak - all of the contests away from home.
The Islanders recovered to go 4-1-2 on the first of two seven-game homestands this season, including a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
"It was a great homestand," said center Mike Sillinger, who had a goal and two assists on Tuesday. "We got back over .500 after starting with three straight losses. We also got our power play working well."
New York converted three of eight power play opportunities against the Blackhawks, with Mike York, Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake each scoring with the man advantage.
Viktor Kozlov added a goal in the second period, while goaltender Rick DiPietro recorded 30 saves for his third win of the season. In a particularly impressive span on Tuesday, DiPietro made six saves to stave off a pair of two-man advantages and protect a one-goal lead.
"It's not about the number of shots, but the quality of shots," said DiPietro, who has won three of his last four starts. "Our defense did a good job again of clearing the rebounds from in front and letting me see the puck."
DiPietro is 6-5 with one tie and a 2.54 lifetime goals-against average against the Devils. The six wins are his most against any opponent. He has also won four consecutive starts versus New Jersey.
Meanwhile, Brodeur is looking to record his third consecutive shutout for the Devils (6-4-1). The veteran goaltender has recorded 51 saves in the last two games, including 22 in a New Jersey's 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, after allowing a combined 10 goals in his previous two outings.
"That's how we're going to be successful," said Brodeur, who is 5-4 with a 2.63 GAA in his career against the Islanders. "That's how we turned it around last year, by playing well defensively. When we take care of our own zone and don't allow quality chances, it makes a difference in how much team success we're going to have."
It was the third shutout of the season for Brodeur and the 83rd of his career, moving him into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL list, one ahead of Hall of Famer Jacques Plante and one shy of Glenn Hall for third.
"Everytime you move forward in the rankings, it's great," Brodeur said. "The winning is what it's all about. That's what the shutouts give us, a two-game winning streak."
Brodeur has helped the Devils win in despite an anemic offense that has been held to two or fewer goals in each of the last four games. Zach Parise scored Saturday's lone goal for New Jersey, which has been outscored 31-27 this season and 12-6 over the last four games.
The Devils were outscored 14-5 in four home meetings with the Islanders last season, three of them New York victories. The Islanders took six of the eight games overall between the Atlantic Division rivals.
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