12/10/96 -- 10:48 PM


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Niklas Andersson had a five-point night with two goals and three assists as the New York Islanders had their biggest offensive output in three seasons with an 8-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Bryan Berard and Marty McInnis each had a goal and two assists as 10 Islander skaters registered at least one point. Zigmund Palffy, Bryan Smolinski, Claude Lapointe and Bryan McCabe also scored for the Islanders, who last got eight goals on Nov. 17, 1993 in an 8-1 victory over Ottawa.

Goaltender Tommy Salo made 28 saves to even his record at 6-6-4.

Keith Tkachuk and Oleg Tverdovsky scored for the Coyotes, who have lost two games in two nights to New York teams. They were beaten 5-2 by the Rangers on Monday night.

Phoenix goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin let in seven goals on 22 shots before he was replaced by Darcy Wakaluk in the third period. Khabibulin has faced the Islanders for 48 minutes this season, and has allowed 10 goals.

The Islanders scored 2:48 into the game on their first shot. Derek King, skating down the left side, sent a centering pass to McInnis, who tipped the puck between the goalie's legs.

Salo kept the Coyotes scoreless in the period with a low glove save off a hard shot from Cliff Ronning with 1:16 left.

In the second, the Islanders again scored on their first shot, this time 38 seconds in. Berard was sent in alone on Khabibulin off a pass from McInnis. He was set to take a backhander, but was hooked before he could shoot. The puck dribbled past Khabibulin into the net.

Tkachuk narrowed the gap to 2-1 at 9:58, backhanding a rebound from the low slot over Salo while on one knee and falling away from the net.

Palffy restored the Islanders' two-goal margin 42 seconds later, finishing a give-and-go with Doug Houda.

Smolinski scored only the second power-play goal for the Islanders in their last 32 chances at 12:11 on a pass from Andersson.

New York then broke the game open with three goals in a 2:45 span, as Lapointe scored on a breakaway at 17:10, McCabe beat Khabibulin with a slap shot at 18:47 with the Islanders shorthanded and Andersson scored on a one-timer at 19:55.

The Islanders scored on their first shot of the third, as Andersson's slap shot found the net at 1:34. Tverdovsky scored on a wraparound at 10:50 with the Islanders once again shorthanded.

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