Nikolay Kulemin

Video: Tavares, Islanders take 2-1 series lead with OT win


The New York Islanders needed just 15 seconds of overtime to net the game-winner.

John Tavares put home the rebound off of a Nikolay Kulemin shot for his first of the playoffs.

The Islanders’ captain had a league-high four overtime winners in the regular season.

New York dominated the first two periods out-shooting the Caps 33-13.

Kyle Okposo’s second of the playoffs gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead after two periods.

Nicklas Backstrom tied it 1-1 at 13:54 of the third to force overtime.

Capitals forward Eric Fehr left the game early in the first period with an upper body injury following a hit from Okposo and did not return.

Braden Holtby, who missed Game 2 due to illness, made 40 saves in the loss.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 shots for the win.

Islanders drop a season-high fourth straight in loss to Blackhawks


The New York Islanders fell 4-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night stretching their losing streak to a season-high four games.

The Islanders offense has dried up during the skid as New York has managed just one goal in each of the four games.

The slump coincides with the loss of defenseman Nick Leddy, who missed his fourth game due to an upper body injury.

The good news is Leddy is on the road trip now, which means he could return as early as Saturday.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville reunited Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa and the moved paid off.

The trio combined for four goals and four assists as Chicago stretched its win streak to three games.

Toews led the way with two goals and two helpers. Hossa added a pair of goals while Sharp had two assists.

The win gives the Blackhawks a five point cushion on the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division while the loss leaves the Islanders just two points up on the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

Corey Crawford improved to 29-14-5 with a 38 save performance.

Nikolay Kulemin had the lone Islanders goal.

Michal Neuvirth stopped 26 shots in the loss.

Rangers’ McDonagh: ‘We were the slower team’


Anders Lee, Nikolay Kulemin and Frans Nielsen scored second period goals while Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves as the New York Islanders blanked the New York Rangers 3-0 Tuesday night.

The Islanders concluded their season-high seven-game road trip with 10 of 14 points and improved to 10-3-1 in their past 14 games.

“It’s a big win,” said Islanders captain John Tavares. “Certainly it’s going to make a lot of people on Long Island happy [Wednesday] morning. We’re excited about beating them. It’s a lot of fun. The rivalry has been great and you enjoy it. Obviously they’ve been playing well and the top of our division is real tight, so just a big game.”

The loss halts the Rangers’ five-game winning streak. New York entered the game with a 13-1-0 record since Dec. 8.

Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves on 32 shots and was pulled after the second period. Cam Talbot made 12 saves in relief.

“We were the slower team, which we haven’t been in this last stretch,” Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. “We know what makes us successful and we just weren’t doing it tonight. They were definitely making us look pretty slow out there.”

The Rangers also lost center Derek Stepan. The 24-year-old did not play in the third period due to what the team is calling an upper body injury.

Carl Hagelin had a close call in the first period. The Rangers’ forward was cut by the skate of Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Hagelin left the game, but returned after having the cut stitched up.

Roy: ‘Last year everything was bouncing our way’


The Colorado Avalanche were blanked 6-0 by the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. The Avs (4-8-5) now have just one win in six games and one regulation win on the road this season (1-5-3).

“Obviously last year everything was bouncing our way,” coach Patrick Roy said post-game. “Right now, it’s tougher, but at the same time, I’ll say this: we need to stay together, we need to continue to work hard at the things that we’ve been doing well.

“Tonight was just a bad game and we need to regroup tomorrow, have a good practice and be ready for the Rangers.”

Nick Leddy and Anders Lee gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Travis Hamonic and Nikolay Kulemin made it 4-0 after two periods. Then Casey Cizikas and Ryan Strome each added their firsts of the season in the third.

“They played really well, have to give them credit they were really intense,” Roy said. “They were jumping on a lot of pucks, they put pucks at the net, I mean they did a lot of good things.”

Semyon Varlamov allowed six goals on 46 shots and saw his record fall to 2-5-4 on the season. Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for his 30th career shutout. The Islanders outshot the Avalanche 13-5 in the first period while Colorado had just 15 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.

“It’s a team that’s much improved,” Roy said of the Islanders. “It’s a game where we were not at our best without a doubt. We knew we need to be better in order to win that type of game, for sure.”