UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)_ Mariusz Czerkawski had a goal and two assists and rookie Tim Connolly scored his first NHL goal and added an assist Sunday as the New York Islanders won their home opener, beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2.
New York, which hadn’t played for eight days and was playing only its second game, also got goals from Mats Lindgren and Claude Lapointe. Felix Potvin faced 16 shots in winning his first game of the season.
Colorado got goals from Sandis Ozolinsh and Alex Tanguay. Patrick Roy stopped 27 shots for the Avalanche.
It was the first win for the Islanders against the Avalanche franchise in five years. The last win was a 5-2 victory over the then Quebec Nordiques on April 18, 1995.
Colorado scored 3:37 into the game on its first shot on goal, four seconds into a power play. Joe Sakic won the faceoff back to Chris Drury, who passed to Ozolinsh at the point. His slapshot got between Potvin’s legs for a 1-0 lead.
New York tied the game on its first power play at 12:22 when Lindgren sent a quick wrist shot over Roy’s glove.
The Islanders took a 2-1 lead 88 seconds into the second period when Connolly’s wrist shot beat Roy high for his first NHL tally.
New York made it 3-1 while on a two-man advantage at 3:25 when Czerkawski scored off his own rebound.
Ozolinsh left the game at 12:12 after taking a slash on the right leg from Islanders forward Claude Lapointe. At that point, New York had outshot Colorado 24-4.
Tanguay scored on a backhand during a power play at 16:59 to cut the deficit to 3-2.
After surviving a late Avalanche onslaught, Lapointe put the game away with 55 seconds left when he took a Czerkawski pass, and flipped the puck over Roy.