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DiPietro, Islanders stifle Maple Leafs

Rick DiPietro stopped Darcy Tucker in the shootout right on the goal line, and the makeshift New York Islanders beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1, last night in Uniondale, N.Y.

Tucker streaked in, lifted his leg, and tried to deke DiPietro, who blocked the drive and then pinned his left skate on the puck as it sat on the line.

Miroslav Satan scored the only goal in the tiebreaker, converting for the seventh time in nine tries as the Islanders, who dismantled their roster before the NHL trade deadline, earned their third shootout win in five games.

New York and Toronto are on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race, tied at 62 points.

Toronto's Bryan McCabe and New York rookie Robert Nilsson traded second-period goals, and the goaltenders did the rest.

McCabe nearly won it with 40 seconds left in overtime when he one-timed a crisp pass from Mats Sundin right into DiPietro, who stopped 22 shots.

Ed Belfour was also sharp in making 26 saves. He gave up six goals on 33 shots in a 9-6 victory over New York Dec. 19 when he became the second-winningest goalie in NHL history.

Panthers 5, Hurricanes 3 -- Olli Jokinen scored two goals to spark host Florida, which beat Carolina for the first time in six meetings this season.

Martin Gelinas and Chris Gratton scored first-period goals and Jozef Stumpel added an empty-netter with 12 seconds remaining for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo stopped 24 of 27 shots.

Devils 4, Capitals 3 -- Scott Gomez scored twice and Patrik Elias got three assists in his first game since the Olympics as visiting New Jersey won a five-round shootout.

Viktor Kozlov, Gomez, and Sergei Brylin scored for the Devils in the shootout, which was decided when goaltender Martin Brodeur stopped Ben Clymer's attempt in Round 5. Brian Willsie and Brooks Laich converted in the shootout for the Capitals.

Senators 3, Thrashers 1 -- Daniel Alfredsson opened Ottawa's three-goal flurry in the first 5:02, and the Senators held host Atlanta to just 17 shots in winning for the fifth time in six games.

Atlanta lost for the first time in four games.

Blues 2, Wild 1 -- Rookie Lee Stempniak scored on a deflection 25 seconds into overtime, giving host St. Louis the victory.

Timofei Shishkanov added his first career goal and Curtis Sanford stopped 22 shots for the Blues, who are next to last overall in the NHL but 7-1-2 in their last 10 games.

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