NHL roundup

Islanders 2, Coyotes 0

The New York Islanders used a smothering defense and some timely scoring to move closer to a playoff berth.

Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson scored to back Robin Lehner's fifth shutout of the season as the Islanders beat Arizona on Sunday.

Lehner stopped 31 shots to help the Islanders win for the second time in two days and keep pace with first place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals, who beat Philadelphia 3-1 earlier Sunday, lead New York by one point with six games remaining for both teams, including a matchup at Washington in the season finale on April 6.

"Those are dangerous hockey games. We had chances to pull away and they hung around," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We got it done."

New York can clinch a spot in the postseason with a Columbus loss in regulation later Sunday and if the Islanders beat the Blue Jackets on the road Tuesday night.

Starting for the second straight day, Lehner had nine saves in the first period, and 11 each in the second and third to improve to 22-12-5 this season. The Islanders, who beat the Flyers 4-2 on Saturday, improved to 11-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. The Islanders also lead the NHL with 10 shutouts. Lehner's counterpart Thomas Greiss also has five shutouts this season.

"I feel like the majority of games we've won, we've gone into the third period 1-0, 2-1, low scores," said Lehner, who signed with the Islanders as free agent last summer. "When we are playing our game, we have confidence. We play hard, wait for them to make mistakes and try to capitalize on it."

With New York leading 1-0, defenseman Johnny Boychuk was called for slashing at 6:42 of the third but the Islanders completely smothered the Coyotes on the ensuing power play. At 8:47, the Islanders had their chance with the man advantage when Arizona defenseman Jason Demers was called for hooking.

Lehner then stopped former Islander Michael Grabner — who has a league-best six short-handed goals this season — on a breakaway.

"He's good on breakaways. It happens pretty quick," Lehner said. "It was nice that it hit my arm and they didn't score."

Nelson made it 2-0 with 3:14 remaining with his 24th of the season. It was initially waved off by the officials, but the call was overturned after a video review

"Big goal by Nelly," Trotz said. "It feels right the way we play. You don't really worry about the score. We can frustrate teams. And the results sort of come."

Eberle put the Islanders ahead 4:37 into the game when he tapped a rebound of Nick Leddy's shot past Darcy Kuemper. It was Eberle's 15th of the season, but just his second since Feb. 9.

"Any time you get an early lead, especially on a back-to-back, it's huge," Eberle said. "You have to match team's desperation. I like the way that we played."

Kuemper finished with 24 saves as the Coyotes lost their fifth straight (0-3-2) and finished 0-3-1 on a four-game trip. Arizona hasn't won since March 14 against Anaheim at home, where there will play four of their last six games as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Kuemper kept the Coyotes in the game with a series of excellent saves in the second period.

"That was a good defensive game. I thought we had good possession," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "We are just having a tough time scoring right now."

Blue Jackets 5, Canucks 0

Pierre-Luc Dubois ended a 13-game scoreless slump and finished with a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots for his seventh shutout of the season as Columbus improved its playoff chances with a victory over Vancouver.

Josh Anderson had two goals and an assist, and Ryan Dzingel and Oliver Bjorkstrand also scored for the Blue Jackets (41-30-4), who moved within two points of the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Columbus also snapped a three-game road winless streak.

Thatcher Demko stopped 28 shots for Vancouver.

Capitals 3, Flyers 1

Braden Holtby made 35 saves and Washington beat Philadelphia to snap a two-game skid.

Holtby helped Washington kill off three of four Philadelphia power plays, and that allowed the Capitals to avoid what would have been their first three-game losing streak since January.

Tom Wilson, Travis Boyd and Jakub Vrana scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Jakub Voracek scored a power-play goal and Brian Elliott made 27 saves for Philadelphia, which made a run from near the bottom of the league before running out of gas.

Hurricanes 2, Canadiens 1 (OT)

Andrei Svechnikov scored with 1:45 left in overtime as Carolina rallied to beat Montreal in a matchup with Eastern Conference playoff implications.

Carolina's Trevor van Riemsdyk scored the tying goal with 5:39 remaining, and Svechnikov ended it with a wrist shot in the extra session. Curtis McElhinney stopped 28 shots.

With the win, Carolina remained alone in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal squandered a chance to move into a tie with Carolina with a win.

Paul Byron scored in the first period, and Carey Price stopped 38 of 40 shots as Montreal had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Blackhawks 2, Avalanche 1 (OT)

Duncan Keith scored 1:23 into overtime to give Chicago the win over Colorado.

The defenseman took a feed from Brandon Saad, bulled his way down left wing, shrugged off a check from Nathan MacKinnon and beat goaltender Phillipp Grubauer between the legs to snap the Blackhawks' three-game losing streak. Chicago pulled within five points of Colorado for the second Western Conference wild card.

Artem Anisimov had a power-play goal for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford made 19 saves.

Alexander Kerfoot scored on a 5-on-3 power play for the Avalanche, who had won four straight.


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