Mark Pavelich's three goals and the superb goaltending of Ed Mio helped the New York Rangers to a 7-3 victory over the Islanders last night in New York City.
The Rangers drove goalie Billy Smith from the game at 11:12 of the middle period. By then, the Rangers led, 5-2. Smith, whose netminding led the Islanders to the last three Stanley Cup championships, misplayed three of those goals. It was the first time since Feb. 17, 1981, that he'd been lifted from a game.
Mio was particularly outstanding early in the second period. In a span of 30 seconds, he made diving saves on close-range shots by Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and John Tonelli.
The Rangers struck early for a 2-0 lead, greatly aided by Smith's mistakes.
Barry Beck hit a power-play slap shot off Smith's stick and into the net at 1:55. With the Rangers short-handed, Don Maloney skated from behind the net and put a backhander behind Smith when the goalie was slow in arising from the ice.
Anders Kallur cut the deficit to 2-1 with a short wrist shot at 6:54 of the first period, then the Rangers put the game away in the second period.
Ron Duguay knocked a loose puck past Smith at 1:21, Anders Hedberg beat Smith with a wrist shot from the slot at 9:09 and Pavelich made a 45-footer at 11:12. At that point, Roland Melanson replaced Smith.
Pavelich completed his hat trick in the third period. He and Hedberg worked a give and go at 5:05, and he put a rebound into a wide-open net at 11:56 on a power play.