Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/3/13
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Steve Bernier snapped a scoreless tie with two goals in a span of a little more than a minute late in the third period Sunday as the New Jersey Devils outlasted the New York Islanders 3-0 at Nassau Coliseum. Bernier's first goal came off a caromed shot from Andy Greene with 3:54 left. Just 70 seconds later, Bernier was once again was in the right place at the right time when Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov deflected Ryan Carter's shot to Bernier, who poked it in from just to the left of the net. David Clarkson added an empty-net goal with under 30 seconds left as the Devils improved to 4-1-3 and moved past the Islanders into second place in the Atlantic Division. The Islanders (4-3-1) suffered their first shutout of the year. Devils goalie Johan Hedberg made 22 saves while Nabokov had 24 saves for the Islanders. The Devils were on the offensive for much of the third period, when they outshot the Islanders 13-5, but could not break through until Bernier's 1-2 punch. Frustrations mounted for both teams as the duel dragged on. Midway through the third, the Devils' Adam Henrique and the Islanders' Travis Hamonic drew two-minute penalties after a skirmish behind the Islanders' net immediately after Henrique's two shots were turned back by Nabokov. The matching penalties occurred shortly after the Islanders squandered their best chance to get on the board. Michael Grabner picked off Ilya Kovalchuk's clearing pass in the Devils' zone and raced in on Hedberg on the breakaway. But Grabner's shot hit Hedberg's left leg and Hedberg smothered the puck. The first two periods were often choppy as the Islanders and Devils combined for 10 penalties and eight fruitless power plays. The Islanders outshot the Devils 17-14 in the first 40 minutes but were 0-for-7 on the power play. The Islanders entered Sunday with 27 goals, second-most in the Eastern Conference, but they were stymied again by the Devils. New Jersey has surrendered just six goals in three games against the Islanders. NOTES: The Islanders played the second of nine straight games in the tri-state area Sunday. The Islanders visited the Devils Thursday and will play six home games and visit the Rangers twice through Feb. 18. This is the Islanders' longest tri-state area stretch since they went 6-5-1 in a 12-game span from Dec. 12, 2010 through Jan. 2, 2011. ... An announced crowd of 11,558 turned out for the Super Bowl matinee, which was the Islanders' first since they tied the Devils 4-4 on Jan. 28, 1990 (Super Bowl XXIV). The Islanders played on Super Bowl Sunday just twice in the subsequent 21 seasons. The Devils, meanwhile, were playing on Super Bowl Sunday for the third straight year. New Jersey beat the Canadiens and the Penguins the previous two years. ... Islanders coach Jack Capuano was sporting a black and blue left eye from getting hit there in the third period of Thursday's 5-4 overtime win over the Devils.
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