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Joensuu's goal on debut seals Isles' win over Avs

JESSE Joensuu scored with his first shot in the NHL to help the New York Islanders beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Monday.

Joensuu was called up from the Islanders' Bridgeport American Hockey League team earlier in the day and fired a loose puck past Colorado netminder Andrew Raycroft two minutes into the second period to put New York ahead to stay at 2-1.

"The puck was bouncing there and Simmer (Jon Sim) was whacking at it," Joensuu told reporters. "It kept bouncing and I thought why not go in there, and somehow I got it into the net."

Joensuu's strike was the highlight of a meeting between the worst teams in the Eastern and Western conferences and the contribution was praised by his coach.

"The one thing I've noticed about (his play in) Bridgeport is that he's got a willingness and drive to get to the net," Islanders coach Scott Gordon told reporters.

"It's funny, the one time he didn't do it was when he scored the goal. That's a good sign that he's willing to stand in there and battle."

The loss was the fifth consecutive for the Avalanche (28-36-1), who remain rooted to the bottom of the West standings.

The Islanders (21-36-7) also got goals from Dean McAmmond, Bruno Gervais and Jeff Tambellini. Sim added three assists.

McAmmond scored on a wrist shot 13:15 into the game. Gervais gave New York a 3-1 lead 11 minutes after Joensuu's goal before Tambellini wrapped up the scoring 4:48 into the third.

Former Islander Ryan Smyth scored both Colorado goals. His powerplay tally leveled the score at 1-1 early in the second period and he netted again in the third to make it 3-2.

Islanders netminder Yann Danis saved the Avalanche's 20 other shots. Raycroft had 27 saves for Colorado.


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