DENVER (AP) -The Colorado Avalanche weren't getting anywhere putting black smudges all over Rick DiPietro's sparkling white pads.
So, Marek Svatos tried a different approach. He backhanded a shot over DiPietro's right shoulder 2:05 into overtime, helping the Avalanche snap a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
|Marek Svatos (rear right) celebrates his game-winning overtime goal. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)|
"I tried to go high," Svatos said of his 16th goal of the season. "Fortunately, it went in. He played really well. Everything that went down he stopped."
It had to be the new pads.
DiPietro's pads made their debut in the first period against Florida on Thursday night during another overtime loss, but he was instructed to change them before the second because they hadn't been inspected.
All goalie equipment must be inspected and approved by the NHL before it can be used in a game. The league finally sanctioned the pads Friday and they arrived in time for the game.
"Really, they're just a pair of pads," said DiPietro, who had 37 saves. "They are just newer."
Jose Theodore was wearing his same old ragged pair, but he was just as splendid, stopping 23 shots.
|Jose Theodore makes a save against Richard Park, one of 23 on the night. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)|
"I felt really good," said Theodore, who made only his second start in 11 games. "To be honest, he (DiPietro) played unbelievable. I am going to play the way that I can. If I do that, I can match and outplay any goalie in this league, and that's what I tried to do."
Outside of DiPietro, Islanders coach Ted Nolan wasn't happy with his team's performance.
"I thought the altitude was supposed to take away our wind, not our intelligence," Nolan said. "We just didn't play a very intelligent game."
New York had a golden opportunity to escape with a win when Ian Laperriere was called for a high-sticking penalty late in the third period. However, the Islanders couldn't capitalize on the penalty that spilled into overtime.
In captain Bill Guerin's opinion, his team wasn't aggressive enough, especially after Tim Jackman's early goal in the opening period.
"We definitely let them skate too much," Guerin said. "They are a good, young, talented team, and we gave them a lot of room. They made the most of it. I would have liked to have seen us play, generate more offense, instead of just hanging around with a one-goal lead."
Jordan Leopold tied it at 1 after sneaking a shot past DiPietro with 31.6 seconds remaining in the second period. It was Leopold's third goal of the season.
That seemed to ignite the Avalanche, who were trying to avoid their first five-game losing streak in nearly 10 years.
"We certainly needed a win badly," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "To be trailing is tough, but we hung in there. A huge goal at the end of the second. Hopefully, we got some confidence."
The Avalanche continue to struggle on the power play, slipping to 0-for-16 over the team's last five games. They didn't convert on four power-play opportunities against the Islanders.
"It's a tough stretch without scoring," Quenneville said. "Finishing has been the tough part."
Part of the problem has to do with the fact the Avalanche are without Ryan Smyth (fractured ankle) and captain Joe Sakic (hernia). On top of that, Colorado's top scorers are in a drought. Milan Hejduk has gone six games without a goal, Andrew Brunette five games, and Paul Stastny eight.
But Svatos is helping pick up the slack, scoring six goals in seven games.
"Every game, I play a lot and I am getting lots of opportunities," Svatos said. "So, my confidence is going up."
Notes: The Avalanche recalled D Johnny Boychuk from Lake Erie of the AHL on Friday. He played almost 8 minutes. ... It was New York's first trip to Denver since Feb. 10, 2004. ... Islanders D Radek Martinek missed his sixth game due to a bruised right leg. ... Colorado was the first stop on New York's five-game road swing. ... It was the Islanders' 24th one-goal game of the season, the most in the NHL. ... The Avalanche improved to 4-0 against the Eastern Conference this season, snapping a three-game home losing streak in the process. Colorado has the second-best home mark in the NHL at 16-6.