Saturday's NHL roundup: Islanders get best of Devils
Uniondale, N.Y. — The New York Islanders are brimming with confidence these days, thanks to a standout goalie and a newfound winning attitude.
Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves for his ninth straight win, and Cal Clutterbuck scored his third goal of the season as the Islanders earned a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
New York (17-7), which had a five-game winning streak snapped Friday at Washington, has won 12 of 14. This is the fastest the Islanders have gotten to 17 victories.
"We're doing some good things and we believe in ourselves," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "You can see the poise and composure we have now. We just have to keep that going."
Halak has been a force, going 12-4 in his first season with the Islanders.
"I'm not thinking of how many games I've won in the past," said Halak, who made 16 saves in a tense third period, including five during a 5-on-3 Devils' power play. "I'm only as good as my last game."
Islanders coach Jack Capuano knows how vital Halak has been to the team's success.
"I thought our goaltender was excellent," Capuano said. "We knew that they would make a push, and we did whatever we could to withstand it. We've had a long stretch — six games in nine days — and it showed tonight. But our goalie made the difference."
Casey Cizikas, who scored an empty-net goal to seal it, agreed with his coach.
"He's been unbelievable," Cizikas said. "He's kept us in games and he was such a huge part of the win."
The Devils (9-11-4), beaten by Detroit in a shootout on Friday, lost their fourth straight. Damien Brunner scored his first goal since Oct. 24, and Cory Schneider made 25 saves.
"We played better in the second and third periods, but we didn't get the result, and that's what matters," said Schneider, who started in goal for the 23rd time in New Jersey's 24 games. "We gave them everything we had down the stretch. Sometimes, you just don't get the bounce to tie things up.
"We played well, but it's a results-based business, and we're not getting the results."
New York took a 2-1 lead 3:32 into the second period when defenseman Calvin de Haan fired a wrist shot that was deflected in by Clutterbuck's stick.
The goal was originally given to de Haan but was changed to Clutterbuck during the second intermission.
The Islanders controlled play early, and they grabbed a 1-0 lead on Nikolay Kulemin's fifth goal.
Kyle Okposo took a slap shot that Schneider easily stopped, but he was unaware that the puck trickled through his pads and was inches from the goal line.
Kulemin got behind the defense and poked the puck past Schneider.
"I thought I had it," Schneider said. "I didn't know it got past me."
The Devils tied it 1:47 later on Brunner's second of the season. Defenseman Eric Larsson fired a shot that was deflected in front by Brunner.
"It was a good deflection and got me to the far side," Halak said. "There's not much you can do about that."
New Jersey dominated the third period, and held a 16-2 edge in shots, but couldn't net the tying goal.
With nine minutes left, the Devils recorded five straight shots at Halak. The best chance came on a backhanded attempt by Michael Ryder.
New Jersey then had a 5-on-3 advantage for nearly a minute toward the end of regulation, but the Islanders killed it.
Capuano said that is a sign of his team's maturity.
"When we had to contain, we did," Capuano said. "We have a different attitude, and it showed. From top to bottom, we know we're not going to lose."
More Saturday games
(At) N.Y. Rangers 5, Philadelphia 2
Derick Brassard scored twice to lead the Rangers past the Flyers.
Jesper Fast, J.T. Miller and Lee Stempniak also scored for New York, which swept the Flyers in a home-and home matchup on consecutive days. Fast's goal was the first of his NHL career.
The Rangers have also won the first three matchups of the season against Philadelphia. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for New York.
Nicklas Grossmann and Jakub Voracek scored for Philadelphia, which has lost four in a row. Ray Emery made 30 saves.
Pittsburgh 3, (at) Carolina 2
Christian Ehrhoff scored his first goal of the season with 4:33 remaining, helping Pittsburgh top Carolina.
Robert Bortuzzo's first-period goal gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead, and the Penguins held on to avenge a home loss to Carolina on Friday.
Justin Faulk put the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal in the first — just 17 seconds before Chris Kunitz tied it for Pittsburgh — and Elias Lindholm cut Carolina's deficit to 3-2 with 11.7 seconds left in the game.
Thomas Greiss made 32 saves for Pittsburgh (16-5-2), which avoided its first losing streak in regulation games this season. Anton Khudobin had 30 saves for the Hurricanes, 1-11-2 when trailing after two periods.
St. Louis 3, (at) Minnesota 2 (SO)
Vladimir Tarasenko scored the lone shootout goal, and the Blues rallied to beat the Wild.
It was Tarasenko's second post-regulation winner in two nights. He scored in overtime on Friday to give St. Louis a victory over Edmonton.
Tarasenko and David Backes scored regulation goals for the Blues. Jake Allen. In his second straight night of action, made 36 saves.
Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, which lost for the third time in nine games.
The Blues have won 10 of the past 11 meetings between the teams. The Central Division rivals won't see each other again until March 14.
Buffalo 4, (at) Montreal 3 (SO)
Bryan Flynn scored in regulation and added the shootout winner in Buffalo's victory over Montreal.
After losing five straight, Buffalo has won five of six games.
Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart also scored, and Jhonas Enroth stopped 41 shots to help Buffalo sweep the home-and-home series. On Friday, the Sabres beat the Canadiens 2-1.
Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal. Dustin Tokarski made 23 saves.
(At) Toronto 6, Washington 2
Tyler Bozak scored twice and Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves to help Toronto beat Washington.
Morgan Rielly and Cody Franson scored in the first period, sending Capitals starter Justin Peters to the bench for the second period. Braden Holtby didn't fare much better, allowing Bozak's goal on the first shot he faced. David Clarkson then scored to make it 4-1. Bozak added his second of the night in the period.
Peters returned for the third, allowing Joffrey Lupul's goal.
Troy Brouwer and Tom Wilson scored for Washington.
The Maple Leafs honored former player, head coach and general manager Pat Quinn before the game. He did this week at age 71.
(At) Tampa Bay 4, Ottawa 1
Alex Killorn and Ryan Callahan each had a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay topped Ottawa.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Brenden Morrow and Nikita Kucherov. Ben Bishop made 26 saves and improved to 14-3-2.
David Legwand scored for the Senators, who have lost five of seven. Ottawa right wing Bobby Ryan didn't play due to a broken finger. He was hurt in a loss on Friday at Florida.
Tampa Bay went ahead 2-1 on Killorn's redirection in the low slot of Anton Stralman's shot at 1:16 of the third. Killorn has five goals and eight points during a career-best, seven-game point streak.
Callahan, who had an assist on Killorn's goal, has three goals and six points in the last three games. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman returned to the lineup after missing 18 games because of a broken finger.
(At) Nashville 2, Columbus 1
Colin Wilson scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:12 to play, lifting Nashville over Columbus.
Mike Ribeiro also scored for the Predators, winners of four straight and six of seven.
Curtis McElhinney made 40 saves for Columbus, which lost its sixth in a row.
With the game tied late in the third, Craig Smith got the rebound of his own shot and slid it to Wilson in front, where his spinning backhand found the net.
(At) Colorado 4, Dallas 2
Alex Tanguay had a goal and two assists, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist each, and the Avalanche beat the Stars.
Jarome Iginla and Daniel Briere also scored for the Avalanche, who won for the fifth time in seven games. Defenseman Tyson Barrie tied a career-high with three assists.
The game was tied 2-2 before the Avalanche scored three times within 5:45, spanning the second and third periods.
Tanguay gave Colorado the lead when he got a pass from Duchene from behind the net and beat goalie Anders Lindback on the short side with 2:00 left in the second period.
Duchene scored a power-play goal 46 seconds into the third, and Landeskog made it 5-2 during a two-man advantage at 3:45. Calvin Pickard made 22 saves in the win.
Defenseman Marco Scandella agreed to a five-year extension with the Wild.
The deal will run through the 2019-20 season. Terms of the deal were not announced.
The 24-year-old Scandella has five goals and three assists in 20 games this season. His overtime goal Friday in Dallas was his third winner of the season. He is a plus-7 and has a team-leading 32 penalty minutes.
Scandella, a second-round pick in the 2008 draft, has 12 goals and 28 assists in 185 games during five seasons with the Wild.
... The Sharks activated forward Mike Brown from the injured list and placed forward Tyler Kennedy on it.