Kozlov Leads Islanders Past Rangers
Monday, December 4th 2006, 6:36 am
By: News On 6
NEW YORK (AP) _ Viktor Kozlov went Brendan Shanahan one better and put the New York Islanders on top in the Atlantic Division, too.
Kozlov scored four goals to offset Shanahan's 18th hat trick and help the Islanders take the division lead with a 7-4 victory over the Rangers on Sunday night.
``This is the first time I ever had four goals in any game, maybe except junior,'' Kozlov said. ``It's not only me, but it's my linemates and my team.''
Kozlov's wrist shot from the slot beat Kevin Weekes to the glove side with 6:08 left and he completed the scoring on another wrist shot with 1:36 left.
With their fifth victory in seven games, the Islanders pushed their points total to 31, one more than the Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
``It'll definitely make the bus ride back to Long Island a bit happier,'' DiPietro said, ``but it's not like we've clinched the division.''
Miroslav Satan and Chris Simon each had a goal and assist for the Islanders, and Arron Asham also scored. Rick DiPietro made 39 saves.
Jaromir Jagr had the other goal for the Rangers in their first outright loss in seven games (3-1-3). Henrik Lundqvist started and stopped four of eight first-period shots. Weekes made 10 saves in the final two periods.
In the other NHL game Sunday night, Los Angeles beat Anaheim 3-2.
Just 12 seconds after killing off a penalty, the Islanders opened the scoring when Mike Sillinger fed Satan on the right wing. Satan moved to the lower right circle and wristed a shot high to Lundqvist's short side.
The Islanders cashed in on their first power-play chance for a 2-0 lead. Point men Radek Martinek and Satan were playing catch when Martinek found Simon down low. His turnaround wrist shot banked in off the left post.
Kozlov made it 3-0 with 3:32 left in period on a backhander from the lower left circle. Asham stepped out of the penalty box and scored on a wrist shot from the right circle with 33.4 seconds left in the period.
``I don't think there were any soft goals,'' Lundqvist said. ``At the same time, I am not satisfied with letting four goals in during the first period. I talked to Tom (Rangers coach Renney) and said a change is a good thing for the team.''
Shanahan put the Rangers on the board with a short-handed goal at 6:45 of the second. Jagr picked up his 13th goal at 16:22 on a wrist shot and, 66 seconds later, Shanahan knocked down a puck and quickly wristed a shot past DiPietro.
Kozlov then scored his second goal of the night on a rebound at 18:41.
``We bent, but fortunately, we didn't break,'' DiPietro said.
Shanahan completed the hat trick at 7:01 of the final period on a power play. He found a loose puck at the left crease and slammed it home.
``That was actually the turning point,'' Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. ``All of a sudden, a light went on in our brains, and we started getting our composure back.''
Kozlov said a 4-0 lead was tough to hold.
``It's not easy,'' Kozlov said. ``In the back of our head, we started to relax a bit. Thankfully, we didn't relax so much.''
Kings 3, Ducks 2
At Anaheim, Calif., Dan Cloutier stopped 27 shots, Alexander Frolov scored twice and Derek Armstrong added a goal for Los Angeles.
Todd Marchant and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim.
The Kings ended a seven-game losing streak against the Ducks that included a 4-3 loss Saturday in Los Angeles.