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Islanders

Islanders Lose, But Earn Respect Of NHL-Best Canucks

Poulin Stops 48 Shots; N.Y. Blows Late Lead, Falls In Shootout
Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin

Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin, left, stops the Canucks’ Henrik Sedin during the teams’ meeting in Uniondale on Jan. 11, 2010. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks left Long Island with two more points and an appreciation for the way the Islanders play.

Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler scored in a shootout, and the surging Canucks beat the New York Islanders 4-3 on Tuesday night.

The Canucks were happy to get the two points, but they weren’t so happy about the way they played.

“We had a tough time the whole game,” Daniel Sedin said. “They had a lot of energy.”

Alex Burrows, Kesler and Kevin Bieksa scored for the Canucks in regulation. Roberto Luongo made 38 saves, helping Vancouver improve to 14-0-3 in its last 17 games.

“They played well,” Luongo said. “It was a tougher game than it looked to be.”

The Canucks (28-8-6) lead the NHL with 62 points.

Jack Hillen, John Tavares and Blake Comeau had goals for the Islanders. Kevin Poulin turned aside 48 shots.

“Kevin was excellent,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “He faced a good team, and turned in a very good performance.”

Raymond scored in the shootout on a spin-o-rama move.

“I tried it a few times in practice,” Raymond said. “The two points we got may make a big difference.”

Kesler’s was the last shot taken.

“It was a nice ending,” Kesler said. “But I’ll tell you, they work really hard.”

Burrows started the scoring at 4:58. He was in front of the net and had a centering pass from Sedin deflect in off his body.

The Islanders were outshot 20-9 in the first period but had one great opportunity. About 3 minutes in, Michael Grabner came in on a breakaway, but Luongo made a right pad save.

Blake Comeau had a chance to tie it 9 minutes into the second period, but his hard wrister rang off the left post.

New York finally tied the game at 15:13, just a second after its first power play ended. Hillen, from the point, ripped a slap shot past Luongo.

The tie lasted until there were 15.4 seconds left in the period, when Kesler beat Poulin with a shot from the high slot to put the Canucks back ahead.

New York tied it again at 3:14 of the final period when Tavares somehow beat Luongo with a wrist shot from a hard angle during a power play.

The Islanders took a 3-2 lead with 5:36 left when Comeau put a slap shot from the left point past Luongo.

The lead lasted 24 seconds before Bieksa tied the game when his shot deflected in off an Islander.

NOTES: The Islanders called up RW Rhett Rakhshani from Bridgeport.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)