Brock Nelson and Matt Martin scored 21 seconds apart in the second period and the New York Islanders beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 Wednesday night to snap a season-high four-game losing streak.
John Tavares also scored in the Islanders’ three-goal second period and rookie goalie Jean-Francois Berube, making just his fourth career start, stopped 22 shots.
New York, holding the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, got a needed victory in its playoff push after going 1-4-2 in its previous seven games while getting outscored 22-11.
The Islanders pulled within one point of Pittsburgh for third place in the Metropolitan Division and moved four points ahead of Philadelphia and Detroit, who are tied for the East’s second and final wild card.
Mark Stone scored and Andrew Hammond finished with 20 saves for Ottawa, which lost its second straight after winning three of four.
The Senators were 0 for 1 on the power play and have not scored in 28 chances over their past 11 games.
Stone spoiled Berube’s shutout bid at 6:21 of the third period as he took a pass from Erik Karlsson on a 2-on-1 break and scored on a backhand. It was Karlsson’s NHL-leading 62nd assist and he is fourth in the NHL with 75 points.
The Islanders got on the scoreboard early in the second period. After Tavares won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Calvin de Haan got the puck and sent it to Josh Bailey, who fired a shot from inside the blue line. Hammond stopped it, but the rebound went to Tavares in front and he backhanded the puck in at 5:24 for his 27th of the season.
New York doubled its lead with 5:32 remaining in the period as Travis Hamonic took a shot from the right side and Martin, streaking across the front of the goal, deflected it past Hammond for his eighth of the season.
Nelson made it 3-0 just 21 seconds later as got a quick pass from Shane Prince from behind the net and fired it past Hammond from the right side in front for his 24th.
Neither team had much intensity for most of a scoreless first period. The Islanders had two power plays in the first five minutes, but got just two shots on goal and three others that were wide.
Ottawa finished the opening period with a 10-5 advantage on shots, with Berube having to make several sprawling saves.
NOTES: The Senators were without D Dion Phaneuf, who did not travel to New York with the team after suffering a lower-body injury in a 4-2 loss at home to Washington on Tuesday. D Fredrik Claesson was called up from Binghamton of the AHL. ... RW Bobby Ryan played in his 600th game. ... Ottawa closed its 13th set of back-to-back games this season. The Senators are 7-6 in the first games, and 3-10 on the back end. ... Stone has a team-high 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in road games. .... Tavares has six goals and seven assists in his past 10 home games. ... LW Prince played against the Senators for the first time since being traded to the Islanders in a trade-deadline deal. Prince, who spent six seasons in the Ottawa organization, has a goal and an assist in 11 games with New York. ... The Islanders announced they have agreed to a three-year entry-level contract with G Eamon McAdam, the team’s third-round pick in the 2013 draft. McAdam went 13-8-1 with a 2.98 GAA at Penn State this past season. He will report to Bridgeport of the AHL on an amateur tryout deal for the rest of the season.Report Typo/Error