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Nielsen, MacDonald lift Islanders past Canucks

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Frans Nielsen scored in the

first round of the shootout and Joey MacDonald stopped all three

attempts in the bonus format as the New York Islanders recorded

a 2-1 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

Doug Weight tallied in regulation and MacDonald turned aside 31

shots for New York, which has won three in a row after dropping

nine of its previous 11 games.

The three-game win streak is the team's longest since they won

six in a row last season from February 12-21.

"We have been playing well the last three or four games. You

have to pick your game up against a guy like that (Vancouver

goaltender Roberto Luongo)," MacDonald said. "He's not going to

let too many in. If you get down a couple of goals, it's a long

way back."

Pavol Demitra scored and Luongo finished with 34 saves against

his former team for Vancouver, which fell to 4-2-1 in its last

seven games.

Nielsen, who had an assist in regulation, netted the lone tally

in the shootout after slipping a backhander past Luongo to give

the Islanders an early advantage.

"I knew what I was going to do," Nielsen said. "(Luongo) is a

big guy. I tried to fake a shot like I was going five-hole. He

went down, and I went to my backhand and tried to get it up, and

it worked."

MacDonald did the rest, denying Kyle Wellwood and Demitra with

pad saves before poke-checking the puck away from Alex Burrows

in the third round of the bonus session.

"I thought he was going to shoot, but he deked, and I got my

stick on the puck," MacDonald said of Burrows' chance.

Demitra opened the scoring just 49 seconds into the contest

after accepting a feed from Daniel Sedin and blasting a shot

past MacDonald for his third goal of the season.

With his team on the power play, Weight leveled the contest with

5:25 remaining in the second period after unleashing a slap shot

from the left point which beat a thoroughly screened Luongo for

his fourth tally of the campaign.

"I thought our guys came out with good energy in both ends of

the rink, but for some reason we were totally flat in the

second," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "There were a

lot of turnovers that led to good scoring opportunities. I like

the way we came back in the third and battled hard, but we came

up short."

Daniel Sedin agreed with his coach's assessment.

"We lost some momentum when we took penalties in the second," he

said. "They got shots and scoring chances on the power play,

and the momentum turned around. Every goalie we face seems to

be on top of their game. We have to find a way to get some dirty

goals - get around the net and get some garbage goals."


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