Finally, Zigmund Palffy's shots found nothing but net.
Showing no sign of his early season struggles, Palffy broke through for three goals, leading the New York Islanders past the San Jose Sharks 5-2 Thursday night in San Jose."We knew we could score goals," said Palffy, a 48-goal scorer last season who had just one in the Islanders' five previous games this season. "When they go in, you know you're doing something right. We've hit a lot posts."
Robert Reichel added a goal and assisted on two of Palffy's scores, and Bryan Smolinski had his first goal of the season, helping the Islanders win for just the second time in six games this season.
"We've always stated that Ziggy one-on-one is as good as anyone in the league, and he showed us why," Islanders coach Rick Bowness said. "Even one-on-two, he's great. But he had great help from Reichel and Smolinski all night. That line was great for us."
So was goalie Tommy Salo. He made 32 saves for the Islanders, who ended a three-game winless streak (0-2-1).
In the only other NHL game, Dallas beat Florida 4-0.
Palffy had a goal in each period, completing his fourth career hat trick with 4:58 remaining.
His second goal of the night broke a 1-1 tie, and the Sharks were never headed. The Sharks were on a power play when Reichel sent a lead pass to the slot, which the streaking Palffy wristed past goalie Mike Vernon at 8:25 of the second.
Stars 4, Panthers 0
Ed Belfour only had to stop 12 shots for his second shutout of the season as Dallas beat visiting Florida.
Belfour had an easy route to his 33rd career shutout as Dallas' defense limited Florida to a handful of legitimate scoring chances. The Stars set a club record for fewest shots on goal by an opponent.