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Islanders cruise by Capitals

Ryan Smyth scored his first goal with New York and Miroslav Satan added two goals as the Islanders defeated the Capitals, 6-2, last night in Washington.

Mike Sillinger, Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Chris Simon also scored for the Islanders, who have won five of six and recorded points in 17 of 19.

The victory moved the seventh-place Islanders within a point of Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Smyth was acquired by the Islanders from Edmonton at the trading deadline earlier this week. New York already had the game in control when Smyth scored his 32d goal with 2:54 remaining in the third period to make it 6-2.

Panthers 6, Lightning 2 -- Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss each scored two goals and Ville Peltonen scored on a penalty shot to lead host Florida to a season-high fourth straight victory.

Olli Jokinen also scored for the Panthers, who improved to 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. Ed Belfour stopped 31 shots.

Rangers 3, Blues 2 -- Stephen Valiquette rebounded from a rough start, made 25 saves, and then stopped Glen Metropolit on the final shot of the shootout to lift New York over visiting St. Louis.

Valiquette was shaky early while standing in for Henrik Lundqvist, who had made 19 straight starts. He gave up Brad Boyes's goal just 1:35 in and Radek Dvorak's first tally in 15 games late in the first period.

Predators 6, Kings 3 -- Paul Kariya and defenseman Shea Weber each scored twice to help host Nashville win its fourth straight.

J.P. Dumont had a goal and an assist in his 500th NHL game, Marek Zidlicky scored one of Nashville's three power-play goals, and Peter Forsberg had three assists for the Western Conference-leading Predators.

Sabres 3, Maple Leafs 1 -- Toni Lydman, Drew Stafford, and Nathan Paetsch scored to lead visiting Buffalo over Toronto.

Buffalo, missing eight regulars to injury, has won three in a row to take over first overall in the NHL. Nashville trails by a point.

Blue Jackets 4, Coyotes 3 -- Rick Nash scored two goals to lead Columbus over Phoenix in Glendale, Ariz.

Fredrik Modin broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period with a power-play goal. Modin's 16th goal of the season was the 199th of his NHL career.

Flames 4, Oilers 2 -- Daymond Langkow scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and visiting Calgary won its fourth in a row with a victory over struggling Edmonton.

Stephane Yelle, David Moss, and Jarome Iginla also scored for the Flames, while Fernando Pisani had both goals for Edmonton.