Satan scores winner in third period again, lifts Isles to 3-2 victory

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Ted Nolan won this one all by himself.

Three nights after stepping aside on the New York Islanders bench to allow Al Arbour to coach his 1,500th game with the franchise, Nolan took back the reins and won just as the Hall of Famer did on Saturday - with clutch offence from Miroslav Satan.

Satan snapped a tie with 8:48 left Tuesday night and Rick DiPietro made 28 saves to lift the Islanders to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

Satan completed a winning rally for the second straight game, and the Islanders - with three goals in the final period - snapped the Rangers' winning streak at four games.

"We're a resilient bunch," said DiPietro, who shook off the effects of an eye injury to earn his seventh win.

The Islanders trailed 2-1 on Saturday when DiPietro left the game in the second period after getting hit in the right eye by the stick of Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby. Satan scored twice in the third period to give Arbour his 740th victory with the team.

"The last game is something we will always remember," Nolan said. "This is a real good character kind of team that doesn't quit."

The Rangers, who went 5-1 on a homestand that concluded Monday with a 2-0 victory against Philadelphia, scored only 12 goals during that stretch but managed to keep winning on the back of Henrik Lundqvist's strong goaltending.

They recorded 22 shots in the first period Monday and 45 overall, but ran into more resistance against the Islanders.

"I think that our mental sharpness left something to be desired over the course of three periods," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "We weren't as crisp as we needed to be, weren't as precise as we needed to be."

Lundqvist has played in every game this season and allowed more than one goal for the first time in five games. That was enough to drop the Rangers to 0-5-1 on the road.

"We've got to find a way to finish the job," forward Sean Avery said. "We didn't get it done. It's just upsetting sitting in this locker room with a loss."

DiPietro made 36 saves in the Islanders 2-1 win over the Rangers on Oct. 10 and now the Islanders are riding an 8-1-2 surge against their biggest rivals with DiPietro backstopping seven of the wins.

"It's a good rivalry," he said. "Anytime you step on the ice it's always extra loud, extra intense. We enjoy playing them."

DiPietro said he wasn't concerned about getting right back into a game so soon after his eye injury. He was given the go-ahead to practice Monday and made his seventh straight start Tuesday.

"It still feels a little different than the other one. It's hard to explain," he said. "The doctors cleared me to play and I did.

DiPietro made two key saves with three minutes left as the Islanders went on to win their third straight and fifth in six games.

"We just continued to work, continued to apply pressure and got rewarded," he said.

Chris Drury gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second period. Paul Mara restored the one-goal edge in the third.

Trent Hunter got the Islanders even early in the final period, and Ruslan Fedotenko also had a tying goal to set up Satan's heroics.

Hunter got the Islanders even 1-1 at 1:08 when he took a pass in the right circle and fired a shot that beat Lundqvist's glove and got under the crossbar to make it 1-1.

That tie didn't last long.

Mara put the Rangers back on top 3:42 later when he sneaked in back-door toward the left post and deftly redirected Avery's pass from the right-wing boards past DiPietro at 4:50.

Fedotenko took advantage during a power play, when the teams were skating 4-on-3, by putting in a quick shot to Lundqvist's right off a cross-slot pass from Mike Comrie at 9:15.

It was the first short-handed goal the Rangers allowed in 24 chances after they were perfect during the homestand.

Lundqvist finished with 24 saves after posting three shutouts in his previous six outings.

The Rangers, held in check by the Islanders during the first half of the game broke through on a power play - the first infraction whistled against the Islanders - when Drury made it 1-0 with his third of the season off a pass from Mara at 13:40.

Notes: The Islanders recalled RW Tim Jackman from Bridgeport of the AHL to replace defenceman-forward Aaron Johnson, who is out six weeks due to a sprained knee. ... There was a stretch of 6:21 in the first period without a whistle. ... The Rangers, who had four shots in the first period, went 17:15 without a shot spanning the first and second frames.

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