Josh Bailey scored the tie-breaking goal with 3:57 remaining and added an insurance goal 83 seconds later as the New York Islanders rebounded from a pair of shutout losses and edged the host Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 Saturday afternoon.
Bailey recorded his first goal in 13 games since Feb. 26, and the clutch tally moved the Islanders to within one point of the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division and lowered their magic number for clinching a postseason spot to eight.
The win also occurred after the Islanders came off a 5-0 loss to Boston Tuesday and a 4-0 loss at Montreal two nights later.
The Islanders retook the lead at 3-2 when Brock Nelson dug the puck out of the boards near the neutral zone and forced a turnover by Philadelphia defenseman Radko Gudas. Bailey sped into the offensive zone, warded off a check by Gudas, moved into the high slot and lifted a wrist shot over rookie goaltender Carter Hart.
Less than two minutes later, Bailey added insurance by converting a cross-ice feed from Leo Komarov.
Bailey recorded his ninth career two-goal game and first since Nov. 8 at Tampa Bay.
Nelson and defenseman Nick Leddy scored in the first two periods for the Islanders, who are 6-6-0 in their past 12 games and also bounced back from two ugly home losses to Philadelphia earlier this month.
Defensemen Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere tallied for the Flyers, who began the day five points behind Montreal for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Robin Lehner made 22 saves in his second appearance since suffering a concussion March 5 in a collision with Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk.
Hart finished with 36 saves and allowed four goals for the sixth time in his career.
Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead 6:39 into the game when Hagg’s slap shot from the left point took a funny bounce off the end boards and skipped over Lehner’s glove.
The Islanders ended a goal drought of 134 minutes, 27 seconds when Nelson scored his 23rd by swatting a loose puck out of mid-air while positioned near the crease after Scott Mayfield’s pass caromed off Gudas’ skate with 6:33 remaining.
New York took a 2-1 lead on Leddy’s one-timer from the middle of the slot midway through the second but the Flyers tied it on a power play when Gostisbehere lifted a slap shot over Lehner with 13:44 left in the third.
—Field Level Media