The 22-year-old goalie, who hadn't won since New York beat
Chicago on Dec. 6, snapped a seven-game losing streak. He got stuck
behind Garth Snow, who took over the Islanders' No. 1 goalie job,
and feared getting rusty just sitting on the bench.
So DiPietro went on a conditioning stint to Bridgeport of the
AHL. His luck was no better there: He lost both games he played.
"I couldn't get a win in the minors, so this was huge," said
DiPietro, the first goalie ever chosen No. 1 in the NHL draft.
Justin Papineau scored a power-play goal early in the third
period and another with 1:18 left to lift the Islanders.
Papineau fired a shot past a screened Ty Conklin just 1:24 after
Cory Cross got the Oilers even with a shot from the blue line. He
netted his second of the season 3:21 into the final period, just
five seconds after New York began a five-on-three advantage.
"You gain confidence off a game like this," Papineau said.
"I'm dealing with limited ice time, so I'm just trying to do the
best I can and show what I can do when I get out there."
Radek Martinek tied it at 1 for the Islanders in the second, and
Michael Peca had two assists. That was enough offense to make
DiPietro a winner.
Before his previous victory, DiPietro lost five straight
decisions. And since then, he has only played two NHL games. Snow
had his first full game off after playing 15 straight, including
eight consecutive starts.
DiPietro allowed only Mike York's first-period goal on
Edmonton's third shot of the game at 8:59 of the first period.
"It's frustrating, especially to tie it late and then to lose
it," York said.
New York snapped its winless streak at three (0-2-1). The slide
came right after a six-game winning streak. The Islanders had a
seven-game winning streak at home stopped with a loss Tuesday to
Edmonton dropped to 2-1-0-1 on its six-game road trip that ties
the Oilers' longest of the season. The Islanders have beaten the
Oilers five straight times, dating to a loss on Dec. 19, 1999.
"We have two games left on this road trip and we have to learn
from this game and move forward," York said. "We can't afford to
The regular-season series between the clubs who met in the 1983
and '84 Stanley Cup finals is tied 23-23-14.
York gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead when he snapped a shot from
between the circles that got between DiPietro's pads. Raffi Torres,
traded along with Brad Isbister from the Islanders to Edmonton at
last year's trade deadline, assisted on York's 13th.
"After the first goal went in, I said to myself, `All right,
here we go, it's over and done with. Now, just go out and have
fun," DiPietro said.
Conklin made his first start in eight games in place of another
former Islander, Tommy Salo, and made 26 saves. He made a
spectacular stop on Adrian Aucoin in front, but seconds later
allowed Martinek's long shot from the blue line to beat him and tie
Conklin made another great effort just before Papineau put the
Cross' high-sticking penalty gave New York a two-man advantage,
and the Islanders quickly cashed in. After a faceoff win, Janne
Niinimaa, sent to New York from Edmonton in last year's deal, had
his shot blocked. Peca got the puck and was robbed by Conklin, who
slid over to get it.
But he couldn't get back in time to cover the open right side,
and Papineau calmly scored.
"For the most part, we had pretty good penalty killing,"
Conklin said. "We just got an unlucky break on the first one."
The Oilers are 5-11-5 since losing to Montreal in the
outdoor Heritage Classic on Nov. 22. ... Papineau entered with only
four career goals and hadn't scored since Dec. 21. ... DiPietro
finished with 21 saves.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Location: Uniondale, New York
Referees: Rob Martell, Brad Watson Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Greg Devorski
Attendance: 11,087 (68.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Mike York (12)
Assists: Raffi Torres, Radek Dvorak
Radek Martinek (3)
Assists: Roman Hamrlik, Michael Peca
Justin Papineau (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Michael Peca, Janne Niinimaa
Cory Cross (4)
Assists: Mike York, Raffi Torres
Justin Papineau (3)
(Power Play) Assist: Adrian Aucoin