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Hunter-York-Satan line springs to life in Islanders' 5-2 win over Devils

Even the hard-luck line of Trent Hunter, Mike York and Miroslav Satan is starting to score. Hunter, York and Satan combined for two first-period goals and the Islanders won their third straight game with a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

"Every game is getting better and better," said Alexei Yashin, who had three assists. "The last three are much better than the start. Hopefully we can continue to develop and play even better hockey."

Jason Blake, Alexei Zhitnik and Viktor Kozlov also scored and Rick DiPietro had 14 saves for the Islanders, who have gone 6-1-2 since opening the season with three straight road losses.

Rookie Travis Zajac scored and set up another goal by Zach Parise for the Devils, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Martin Brodeur, who had posted shutouts in his last two starts, had 22 saves.

The Islanders went 6-2 against New Jersey last season and dominated the first of eight meetings this year, limiting the Devils to 10 shots in the first two periods.

"We obviously could have played a lot better," Devils center Scott Gomez said. "I'm not taking anything from them. We still haven't figured those guys out. Every line played great."

Hunter, York and Satan set the tone after struggling recently.

"York has been slowly getting better and better," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "Miro Satan, people have been saying he's not scoring, but he's been doing the other things and Trent Hunter has been one of our best forwards. To see them get rewarded with the goals is a change."

Hunter had a goal and an assist in the first 11 games. While York had two goals and three assists, the center had not had an assist in five games. After scoring in the opening minutes of the season opener, Satan had not put the puck in the net again.

Hunter ended a seven-game goal drought by beating Brodeur with a snap shot from between from circles 8:00 into the first. York made the pass after picking up a loose puck in the Devils' zone.

"We haven't been getting the bounces we would have liked, but we stuck with it and worked hard and tonight it paid off," Hunter said.

After Zajac tied it with about 5 minutes left in the period, Satan needed only 32 seconds to put New York ahead for good. York took the puck from Gomez in center ice and set up Hunter for a shot in the left circle. Satan lifted the rebound over a prone Brodeur.

"It's good to contribute," York said. "If you want to be successful, you need different people contributing every night and it was our turn tonight."

Zhitnik stretched the lead to 3-1 midway through the second with a shot from the point. Kozlov scored from the left circle about 5 minutes later off a great cross-ice pass by Yashin.

Parise narrowed the deficit to 4-2 by redirecting a Jamie Langenbrunner pass into the net late in the second.

Notes: Blake originally got credit for the Zhitnik goal until a scoring change was made in the third period. ... Jim Dowd, a member of the Devils' 1995 Stanley Cup championship team, re-signed with the Devils on Thursday. He last played for New Jersey in 1995-96. To make room for him, RW Dan LaCouture assigned to Lowell of the AHL after clearing waivers. ... Until Hunter's goal, Brodeur had gone 136 minutes, 28 seconds without giving up a goal. ... Gomez sat out the third period after aggravating a groin injury.


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