Mathew Barzal scored with less than five minutes left in the third period to push the New York Islanders over the New Jersey Devils 3-2 Thursday night.
Josh Bailey and Adam Pelech scored and Zach Parise added two assists for the Islanders. New York extended its point streak to five games (4-0-1). Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves and collected his ninth win of the season.
Yegor Sharangovich and Nathan Bastian scored as New Jersey lost for the third time in four games. Jon Gillies made 22 saves in his first start since Dec. 19.
Lane Lambert led the Islanders behind the bench with coach Barry Trotz in COVID-19 protocol. Brock Nelson returned after missing the previous two games.
Andreas Johnsson, Sharangovich and Pavel Zacha returned to the Devils’ lineup after being removed from COVID-19 protocols earlier this week.
Barzal broke a 2-2 tie with a one-time shot from the slot at 15:07 of the third period. Bailey delivered a perfect touch pass to set up the deciding goal.
Bastian deflected Ty Smith’s shot from the point during a power play to tie it at 2 at 10:25 of the third period.
Pelech notched his first of the season to break a 1-1 tie at 9:22 of the middle frame. Kieffer Bellows collected his own rebound before setting up his teammate at the point. Pelech’s shot deflected off a Devils skater while Parise screened Gillies.
Bailey evened the score at 1 late in the first period when he buried a rebound on the power play. Parise and Anthony Beauvillier assisted.
Sharangovich opened the scoring midway through the first period and extended his goal-scoring streak to four games. The 23-year-old collected a pass from P.K. Subban at his own blue line, rushed into the offensive zone and fired a shot from the left circle that caught Sorokin by surprise.
Prior to puck drop, Devils forward Jack Hughes and Pelech were named NHL All-Stars. They will represent the Metropolitan Division on Feb. 4-5 in Las Vegas. Islanders forward Mathew Barzal and Devils forward Jesper Bratt will be on the ballot for the last men in competition where fans vote for the final four skaters from a list of 32 candidates.
Kyle Shapiro, 28, served as an emergency backup goalie for the Devils on Thursday with Mackenzie Blackwood and Akira Schmid in COVID-19 protocols. Shapiro played NCAA Division III hockey at the University of Southern Maine and New England College and is an assistant with the New Jersey Titans of the North American Hockey League. Shapiro became the fourth emergency goalie to join an NHL team this season.
Islanders forward Kyle Palmieri participated in the Islanders’ morning skate but has not been activated from injured reserve. … New York defenseman Ryan Pulock has begun skating on his own since sustaining a lower-body injury in the middle of November, but he was placed in COVID-19 protocol earlier this week.
The Islanders have played just four games since mid-December due to eight coronavirus-related postponements. However, New York will be busy with 10 games in the next 19 days, nine of which will be played at home.
Islanders: Host Washington on Saturday afternoon
Devils: Host Arizona on Wednesday.
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