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Devils Win On The Island

Scott Gomez really gave the folks in Anchorage, Alaska, something to cheer about.

Gomez scored his first NHL goal and set up third-period tallies by Krzysztof Oliwa and Bobby Holik in leading the New Jersey Devils to a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

"This is why you play the game," said Gomez, the first Hispanic player taken in the first round of the NHL Draft. "You've got to give yourself a chance. Don't go into anything just to be there."

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  • "I always thought that at a young age. I just gave the puck to the right people. I'm not saying I'm going to do this the next game."

    Scott Stevens added a shorthanded, empty-net goal and Martin Brodeur had 29 saves as the Devils extended their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1) and handed the Islanders their third straight loss.

    Chris Ferraro scored for New York, which got an outstanding 38-save performance from Felix Potvin.

    However, the star of the night was Gomez, the 19-year-old who was the 27th pick overall in the 1998 draft. He was all over the ice and easily could have gotten another goal had it not been for Potvin. In six games, he has seven points.

    "My parents and a lot of people at home get to watch us on the (satellite) dish," Gomez said. "They're at the bar right now probably going crazy."

    The only apparent bad play by the Islanders goaltender allowed Oliwa to give the Devils a 2-1 lead at 3:43 of the third period. Oliwa tok a drop pass in the right circle from Gomez and managed to sneak a shot between Potvin's arm and body for his third goal in six games this season. He had five in 64 games last season.

    "I saw it but it was just in a bad spot, where it's tough to catch," Potvin said. "I think it hit my pants and sneaked in. I thought I had it. It hit me. I wish I had it again."

    Holik put the game away with a power-play goal at 15:25. He took a pass from Gomez in the slot and beat Potvin up high for his sixth goal.

    "It was just a matter of time for him to get comfortable," Holik said of Gomez. "As the season progresses, he is going to get better and better."

    Gomez tied the score at 1-1 at 1:35 of the second period with a power-play goal. It was basically a shot into an empty net after Sergei Nemchinov made a nice pass across the crease after being sent in alone by Brian Rolston.

    "I was thinking rebound," Gomez said. "Sergei's a great player. He just dragged everybody there and laid it right there. If I didn't make that, I'd really would have lost sleep tonight."

    Ferraro, only the second Long Island native to play for the Islanders, put New York ahead 3:05 after the opening faceoff. Tony Hrkac intercepted a pass by Devils defenseman Lyle Odelein at the blue line and Ferraro ripped a slap shot between Brodeur's legs.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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