EditorsNote: Updates with Avs result (fourth graf)
Jordan Eberle scored early in the first period Sunday afternoon and Robin Lehner recorded his fifth shutout of the season as the New York Islanders further damaged the playoff hopes of the visiting Arizona Coyotes with a 2-0 win at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
Brock Nelson scored on a wraparound with 3:14 left in the third for the Islanders (44-25-7, 95 points), who won for the second time in as many days to remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division. New York, which beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Saturday, is one point behind the first-place Washington Capitals and two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Lehner, whose previous career high for shutouts in a single season was three, made 31 saves.
Goalie Darcy Kuemper, who made his 17th straight start, made 24 saves for the Coyotes (36-33-7, 79 points), who lost their fifth straight (0-3-2) and missed another chance to move into the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Arizona, which has been outscored 15-6 during the losing streak, sits two points behind the Colorado Avalanche, who lost in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks later Sunday night.
The Islanders took the early lead when Eberle capped an end-to-end rush manufactured mostly by Nick Leddy, who was at the faceoff circle when he took Johnny Boychuk’s clearing pass from behind the New York net. Leddy raced up the left side of the ice before firing a shot that deflected off Kuemper’s glove. The puck bounced back into the crease, where Eberle flicked a rebound that ticked off one of Kuemper’s skates and bounced into the net at the 4:37 mark.
Neither team scored in the second, though the Islanders had two prime chances turned away when Kuemper stopped point-blank shots by Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee in the final 80 seconds.
The Coyotes nearly tied the score early in the third, but Vinnie Hinostroza’s wraparound bounced off a gaggle of players in the goalmouth with 14:23 left.
Arizona had its best scoring chance during an Islanders’ power play when Lehner turned away a breakaway opportunity by Michael Grabner with 10:32 left. Seconds after the power play ended, Lehner stopped a point-blank backhand shot by Hinostroza.
Nelson’s goal was originally waved off but was overturned when a review showed the puck fully crossed the line.
—Field Level Media