Nielsen’s late goal lifts Isles over Coyotes 1-0
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Frans Nielsen scored the lone goal with 2:31 left in the third period, Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves, and the New York Islanders held on for a 1-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
The Islanders finished their five-game Western trip with three consecutive wins. Arizona had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Nielsen took a centering pass from Mikhail Grabovski, who had worked the puck behind the net, and fired a shot under goalie Mike Smith's glove.
The Coyotes got a late power play and pulled Smith in the final 90 seconds, but were unable to force overtime with a two-man advantage. Smith finished with 31 saves.
Smith, who struggled at the start of the season, has stopped 152 of 162 shots in his last five games.
Both teams had a power play in the closing minutes of the second period that produced several opportunities, but Smith and Halak were up to the task.
Smith turned and spread his legs to knock away John Tavares' attempt at a far-post shot at close range with just under two minutes left in the period.
Each team killed off power plays in the first, too, and Smith made 11 saves overall in the period.
Arizona was 0 for 5 on the power play. New York went 0 for 3.
The Islanders' penalty-killing unit is 9-for-9 in the past two games, including Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Smith deflected a short-handed breakaway attempt by Cal Clutterbuck early in the third period.
NOTES: Zbynek Michalek played in his 500th game with Arizona, becoming the 13th player and fifth defenseman to do that with the franchise. .. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett moved into a tie for longest tenured coach in team history at 390 games, joining Bob Francis (1999-2004). ... The Coyotes wore purple jerseys during warmups, which were auctioned off during the game to benefit the fight against cancer. ... Islanders C Casey Cizikas wasn't called for cross-checking in the last seconds of the second period when he hit Arizona's Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the back with his stick. Ekman-Larsson fell to his knees but was able to skate to the bench. He was back on the ice to start the third period.
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