The New York Islanders were not the panacea the Calgary Flames hoped they would be.
With both teams on a skid, it was the Islanders, with Mark Fitzpatrick in goal for the first time in more than a month, who appeared to break out of theirs, defeating the Flames, 8-2, Tuesday night at Uniondale, N.Y.
Calgary has lost five in a row.
"We can't win games the way we played," the Flames' Theoren Fluery said. "It wasn't pretty. We were bad--that's the bottom line why we lost."
The Islanders have won twice in their last seven games (2-5-0).
Fitzpatrick, assigned to Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate on Dec. 28 after suffering a torn abdominal muscle, faced 29 shots in his first NHL start since Dec. 5. Fitzpatrick was 1-5-0 against Calgary in his career before Tuesday night.
Vladimir Malakhov, Scott Lachance and Iain Fraser each scored twice for the Islanders, who got five goals from defensemen.
Winnipeg 4, San Jose 1--Alexei Zhamnov got two goals and Temmu Selanne and Darrin Shannon also scored as the Jets' top line accounted for all of their scoring at Winnipeg.
The Jets won their fourth consecutive game. San Jose is winless in eight games and has won only once in its last 22 games.
New Jersey 3, Vancouver 2--Bill Guerin scored on a deflection with 2:29 to play, and the Devils rallied for two goals in the final 10 minutes to win at East Rutherford, N.J.
The victory was the fourth in a row for New Jersey and extended the Devils' season-high unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2). The loss was only the second in 13 games for Vancouver.
Boston 5, Buffalo 2--Joe Juneau scored three goals at Boston and the Bruins broke a two-week slump, ending the Sabres' six-game winning streak.
Boston, which had lost six of its previous seven games, got superb goaltending from newcomer John Blue and held the Sabres to 12 shots in the opening two periods.
Steve Heinze and Ray Bourque also scored for Boston. Bourque's goal moved him into fifth place on the team's all-time list with 278.
Chicago 3, Minnesota 1--Ed Belfour lost his shutout string but continued his mastery of the North Stars as the Blackhawks won at Bloomington, Minn.
Belfour, who blanked Minnesota in the teams' previous two games, gave up a goal to Stewart Gavin on a breakaway midway through the second period that made it 1-0.
But Chicago rallied on goals by Brent Sutter and Greg Gilbert, and Steve Larmer clinched the Blackhawks' first victory in four games by scoring with 4:55 to play.