EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Rick DiPietro gave the New York Islanders the kind of goaltending they will need for a post-Olympics run at a playoff spot.
Alexei Yashin had a goal and an assist and DiPietro made 26 saves as the Islanders ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The win moved the Islanders five points behind the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens, who hosted the Atlanta Thrashers later Saturday.
"I think Rick puts a lot of pressure on himself anyway and I think that's one of the reasons he hasn't been as consistent as he'd like," Islanders interim coach Brad Shaw said. "It's something that he's focused on lately."
Jason Blake also scored for New York, which snapped the Devils' eight-game home winning streak.
"We didn't play the way we've been playing, but give them credit," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "They played well. They didn't take bad penalties."
Sergei Brylin had the lone goal for New Jersey.
Yashin scored the winning goal in the second period when he took a drop pass from Oleg Kavasha entering the Devils' zone and fired a shot from the left circle that went under the crossbar at 10:17.
DiPietro made the 2-1 lead standup with several stellar stops in the third period. He denied Jay Pandolfo in slot and turned away Brian Gionta from just outside the crease.
"He had a couple of good looks," DiPietro said of Gionta. "Fortunately one went wide, which was big for us."
Gionta was the most persistent Devil in the final period, getting four of the Devils seven shots.
"He played great," Gionta said of DiPietro. "We shot some at him but he did give up only one. We had some momentum and we had some good chances."
Blake gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead in the first period, converting on a 5-on-3 power play at 12:40. Yashin sent a pass across the slot that Blake and Devils defenseman Richard Matvichuk both swiped at. The puck glanced off the clashing sticks and slipped past Brodeur.
Brylin tied the score with 20.7 seconds remaining in the period on a shot from the slot.
Notes: Both teams played their finale before the Olympic break. ... Brodeur, a member of Team Canada in the Winter Olympics, made his 20th straight start. ... Blake's goal was his 200th NHL point. ... Devils C Eric Rasmussen missed a second straight game with a shoulder injury. ... Islanders D Alexei Zhitnik remained sidelined for a fifth game with an ankle injury.
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