Jesse Joensuu scored a goal in his first NHL game to help the New York Islanders beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 in a meeting of the Eastern and Western conferences' worst teams on Monday evening. Joensuu, who was called up from the Islanders' Bridgeport American Hockey League team earlier in the day, fired a loose puck past Colorado netminder Andrew Raycroft 2:31 into the second period to put New York ahead to stay at 2-1.
Of the goal, Joensuu said: "It was bouncing there for a while, and I thought maybe it would bounce somewhere that I could get to it. It kept bouncing and I thought why not go in there, and somehow I got it to the net." The loss was the fifth in a row, all away, for the Avalanche, who are the West's bottom team. The Islanders, who sit in the Eastern basement, also got goals from Dean McAmmond, Bruno Gervais and Jeff Tambellini. Jon Sim added three assists.
Gervais' goal was his first of the season and ended a remarkable barren spell that had seen him go 160 games without a goal. Former Islander Ryan Smyth scored both of Colorado's goals. His powerplay tally levelled the score at 1-1 in the second period. He netted again in the third to make it a 3-2 game. * With agencies