Islanders 3, Senators 2 (SO)
UNIONDALE, N.Y.-Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored during the shootout Sunday to lift the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders outscored the Senators 2-0 in the shootout as they avoided another crushing home defeat. Nielsen opened the shootout with a goal past Robin Lehner, and Evgeni Nabokov made two saves before Tavares deked Lehner and got the puck past him into the right corner for the win.
Nabokov made 25 saves.
Lehner, making just his second start of the season, made 28 saves.
The win for the Islanders - who lost in overtime to the Maple Leafs on Thursday - was their first on a season-long seven-game homestand (1-2-1) and moved them within three points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders, who are an NHL-worst 3-8-1 at Nassau Coliseum, took a 2-1 lead on Michael Grabner's goal with 3:29 left in the third, but allowed the game-tying power play tally by Patrick Wiercioch with 1:09 to play.
Mika Zibanejad also scored in the second period for the Senators (12-7-4), who lost their season-high third straight game and fell to 3-7-1 on the road, the second-worst road record of any team currently among the top eight in its conference.
Ottawa also missed an opportunity to move within a point of Eastern Conference co-leaders Montreal and Boston. The Canadiens and Bruins meet Sunday night in Boston.
Grabner gave the Islanders the lead late in the third when he picked up a loose puck, and fired the puck past defenseman Eric Gryba and Lehner.
The Islanders took the lead with 12:12 left in the first on a gorgeous coast-to-coast rush capped by Brad Boyes' fifth goal of the season. Mark Streit cleared the puck out from behind the Islanders' net, dished it to Boyes, who passed to Matt Moulson around center ice. Moulson passed it back to Boyes, who beat Lehner over the right shoulder.
Zibanejad took advantage of a pair of Islanders miscues to tie the score 8:36 into the second. Nabokov tried to clear the puck from behind the net, but Chris Neil picked it off and passed it to Zibanejad. Andrew MacDonald got his stick on the pass but could not corral it, and Zibanejad beat Nabokov for his fourth goal of the year.
NOTES: The Senators scratched goalie Craig Anderson, center Derek Grant and defenseman Mike Lundin while the Islanders scratched center Keith Aucoin, winger Eric Boulton and defenseman Radek Martinek. ... Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the Islanders retiring Mike Bossy's no. 22. Bossy, who was one of the core players that led the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups in the early 1980s, is currently the Islanders' vice president of corporate partnerships. ... Rick DiPietro, whom the Islanders assigned to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after he cleared waivers last weekend, earned his first win with the Sound Tigers in a 3-2 victory Saturday night. The night before, he was pulled after allowing five goals in the first period. ... Entering Sunday, the only NHL teams with fewer road wins than the Senators were the Rangers, Avalanche and Blue Jackets (two apiece). ... The Senators' current five-game road trip is only their second-longest of the year. They embark upon a seven-game, 13-day road trip on April 2.
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