Originally created 12/31/06

Devils prolong Islanders drought



UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Martin Brodeur stopped 29 shots for his NHL-leading sixth shutout of the season and the 86th of his career, and Brian Rafalski's unusual goal was all the New Jersey Devils needed in a 2-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

The Devils increased their Atlantic Division lead to six points over the Islanders.

Patrick Elias scored an empty-net power-play goal with 10.6 seconds left to complete the scoring.

Rick DiPietro was solid, turning aside 36 shots, but the Islanders have been blanked for the past 138:12, allowing only three goals in the span.

DiPietro's home shutout streak ended at 191:04 when New Jersey scored a fluke goal 5:21 into the game. Rafalski took a rising shot from the right point that defenseman Allan Rourke tried to bat away with his glove. Instead, Rourke whiffed and DiPietro lost sight of the puck as it got by him.

In other news, Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek broke a foot and will be out of action for four weeks.

Martinek, one of New York's top defensemen this season, was injured Tuesday night during the Islanders' victory over the Rangers. He finished that game and then played the following night in a loss at Ottawa.

"Radek has been a warrior for us, maybe our most consistent defenseman," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said Saturday. "It says a lot about him that he continued to play during the Rangers game and the whole game the next night in Ottawa because he didn't want to take himself out of the lineup.

"But this is the right thing for him. As much as we'll miss Radek, and we know how much he hates being out, we look forward to getting Radek back at 100 percent."

The 30-year-old Martinek had two goals and 11 assists with a plus-15 rating in New York's first 36 games.