NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at New Jersey
(Saturday, April 10th)
Final Score: New Jersey 7, NY Islanders 1
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias scored twice and Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, as the New Jersey Devils captured their second straight Atlantic Division title with a 7-1 victory over the Islanders.
The Devils and Penguins entered Saturday with identical records, but with New Jersey having swept the season series with the Pens, it clinched via Pittsburgh's regulation loss to Atlanta on Saturday.
The win kept intact New Jersey's one-point lead over the Sabres in the race for the Eastern Conference's second seed. The Devils close out their regular season at home Sunday versus Buffalo, which defeated Ottawa Saturday, to set up a winner-take-all scenario.
Zach Parise, Dainius Zubrus, Dean McAmmond and Brian Rolston also scored for the Devils, who got 18 saves from Martin Brodeur.
"I think we're looking forward to the playoffs and guys are feeling better about themselves, playing really good hockey, really with a lot of passion," Brodeur said. "When the playoffs start, it's not going to be a switch, so we have to do it at the end of the regular season."
Matt Moulson got his team-leading 29th goal for the Islanders, who were slammed by Pittsburgh in a 7-3 drubbing on Thursday.
Martin Biron, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 10 shots in Thursday's loss, was blitzed for all seven New Jersey goals facing 37 shots.
"If I didn't think I could come out here and play the game and win it and be competitive, then I would have just stayed home," Biron said. "I think we are professional athletes because we are wired in a certain way. I would never want to put myself, my teammates in a circumstance like that."
Zubrus was credited with the game's opening goal at 10:54 of the first after a scramble in front saw the disc cross the goal line amid a host of bodies.
Parise then put back the rebound of a Colin White point shot with a backhander at 14:18 for a 2-0 score. Biron let in a bad goal with 4:12 left on McAmmond's low wrister from a sharp angle.
Elias' point shot on the power play got through a Parise screen and pushed the margin to four with 8:44 remaining in the second period.
Rolston's one-timer from just above the right circle inside the final minute provided another power-play tally and a comfortable 5-0 lead moving to the third.
Kovalchuk redirected Andy Greene's shot from the high slot at 8:47 to make it 6-0 before Moulson broke up Brodeur's shutout bid.
The final New Jersey goal summed up the game for New York, as Elias' seemingly harmless flip toward the net went off a defender's stick and fluttered between the left post and Biron.
New Jersey improved to 26-10-4 as the host with one to play...The Islanders finished with a forgettable 11-23-7 road record this year and lost five of their last six away from Long Island...New Jersey won four of six meetings with New York this season...The Islanders have also dropped their last six trips to the Garden State.
04/10 23:41:13 ET