Islanders get back to winning ways, top Devils 3-1
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves for his ninth straight win, and Cal Clutterbuck scored his third goal of the season as the New York Islanders got back to their winning ways with 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.
Nikolay Kulemin scored in the first period for the Islanders, and Casey Cizikas made it 3-1 with an empty-net goal in the closing seconds as New York killed New Jersey's 5-on-3 power play.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
NOTES: Schneider started for the 23rd time in 24 games. ... The Islanders honored Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin before the game. ... The Devils played without centers Adam Henrique (upper body) and Travis Zajac (lower body). Both were injured in the third period Friday. Brunner and Jordin Tootoo replaced them in the lineup. ... Devils D Eric Gelinas was a healthy scratch. The Islanders were without D Johnny Boychuk (upper body) for a second straight game. ... Islanders D Nick Leddy played in his 275th consecutive game. ... Devils coach Pete DeBoer and Islanders coach Jack Capuano were teammates with Milwaukee of the IHL from 1989-91.
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