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Islanders' Mannino has 40 saves in first NHL start as New York beats Chicago

CHICAGO - New York Islanders goalie Peter Mannino got all the shots he wanted in his first NHL start.

Mannino made 40 saves, and defenceman Mark Streit had two power-play goals and an assist, leading the Islanders to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Richard Park and Frans Nielsen also scored for the Islanders, 6-2-1 in their last nine games. New York, last in the Eastern Conference, was 3-for-7 on the power play.

Mannino, making just his second career appearance, stopped Martin Havlat, Ben Eager and Patrick Kane on partial breakaways. Chicago had a 42-19 shots advantage.

"I felt good right away," Mannino said. "Chicago is an unbelievable offensive team I wanted to get out the nerves as much as possible and stay focused. When you get a lot of shots, it helps, especially if you're not letting them in right away."

The Blackhawks kept Mannino busy, but only Kane and Kris Versteeg beat him. Versteeg scored the Blackhawks' first goal on their 26th shot.

But Mannino held his ground, and the Islanders dealt Chicago its second straight loss and fourth in five games. Mannino learned that he would start Sunday morning.

"He had some big saves," coach Scott Gordon said. "He stopped guys on breakaways.

"Give him credit. It's a tough situation. He hasn't had a lot of practice time because of the schedule on the road. To go into a building with 22,000 people, it's obviously a great thing for him."

New York improved to 2-1-1 on a season-high six-game trip.

Mannino made his NHL debut in November, playing 13 minutes in relief of Joey MacDonald in a 7-2 loss at Boston.

On Sunday, MacDonald missed his third straight game because of a knee injury he sustained Tuesday in Toronto. Mannino was backed up by Yann Danis.

Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made 15 saves in his first game since Feb. 11, when he aggravated a groin injury in Atlanta.

"He'll get better," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

"We had the puck in the offensive zone," Quenneville added. "With the puck maybe we weren't as crisp as we've been most of the year. I have trust we can simplify it."

Chicago outshot New York 12-6 in a scoreless first, but neither team was able to sustain pressure. Mannino was especially sharp early in the second as the Blackhawks controlled play. He stopped Havlat and Eager on partial breakaways, Duncan Keith on a 2-on-1 and Versteeg from traffic in the slot.

Streit opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 7:41 left in the second. He fired a high screen shot from the top of the left circle past Khabibulin's stick side.

Less than a minute later, Mannino stopped Kane on a partial breakaway.

Versteeg tied with 4:20 left in the period. After Havlat's backhander hit the post, Versteeg pushed in the loose puck.

Park and Nielsen scored 1:20 apart to give New York a 3-1 lead. Park beat Khabibulin between the legs from the left circle with 2:11 left, and Nielsen swept in a rebound of his own deflection for a power-play goal with 51 seconds left in the period.

"They got a late goal it changed the momentum of the game," Quenneville said.

Streit made it 4-1 with his second power-play goal, at 7:46 of the third. He beat Khabibulin with a high drive from the blue-line.

Kane scored on the power play with 1:43 left on a rebound.

Notes: At Bridgeport in the AHL, Mannino was 13-11-2 with a 2.96 GAA in 27 games. ... Chicago RW Patrick Sharp has resumed skating. Sharp, who has 23 goals in 54 games, has missed the last 13 games because of a left knee injury.


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