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Isles stay hot, top Senators 4-3 in shootout

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Michael Grabner and the New York Islanders both stayed hot Tuesday night.
Grabner had a goal in his sixth consecutive game, and Rob Schremp and Frans Nielsen scored in the shootout as the Islanders beat Ottawa 4-3 at Scotiabank Place for their season-high fourth consecutive win.

Grabner, the NHL's First Star last week after scoring eight goals in four games, continued his sizzling scoring run when he tucked in a wraparound early in the third period for a shorthanded goal that tied the game 2-2. He now has 16 goals in his last 15 games and leads all rookies with 25.

"He's utilizing his strength, which is his speed and acceleration," interim coach Jack Capuano said. "He's got two pretty good linemates (Nielsen and Kyle Okposo) who understand what his strengths are. He stayed with the puck after the breakaway and was rewarded for that."

Grabner then set up the go-ahead goal with a perfect blind pass to Josh Bailey, whose slap shot from the slot beat Brian Elliott at 6:39 for his first goal in 22 games. But Erik Karlsson's blast from the slot with 4:01 remaining got the Senators even and forced OT.

In the shootout, Schremp and Nielsen scored for the Isles after Alexei Kovalev opened the tiebreaker by beating Nathan Lawson. The 27-year-old rookie, who made 28 saves through regulation and OT, stopped Jason Spezza and Bobby Butler for his first NHL victory -- he's the sixth Islander goalie to earn a victory this season.

"He kept us in the game," Capuano said of Lawson. "It was well-deserving that he get that win."

Lawson was playing for the first time since going down with a knee injury on Jan. 22.

"It was an awesome win for the boys," Lawson said. "We came back, battled out there and showed our resilience to win in the shootout,"

The Senators dropped to 0-9 in games decided after regulation. They are winless at home since Dec. 26 and have just two victories in their last 20 games.
After the game, they dealt 30-year-old center Chris Kelly to Boston for the Bruins' second-round pick in the Entry Draft this June.

"We didn't roll over. We played hard. We were playing against a team that is as hot as anyone," coach Cory Clouston said. "They're scoring a lot of goals. They're dangerous offensively.

"It's a small consolation, but our guys worked hard and there was a lot of good things, especially from some of our young guys."

Butler had the only goal of the first period, firing home a power-play rebound at 17:55 after Lawson stopped a blast by Spezza. The Islanders tied it 8:07 into the second when Blake Comeau whipped Ty Wishart's pass behind Elliott from the lower right circle.

Ryan Shannon put Ottawa back on top at 12:57, beating Lawson with a slapper from the slot for another power-play goal.

Grabner's speed led to his goal. He misfired on a shorthanded breakaway, but was fast enough to pick up the pick, zip around Elliott after the goaltender came out to play him, and tuck the puck inside the right post.

 Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.Michael Grabner and the New York Islanders both stayed hot Tuesday night.

Grabner had a goal in his sixth consecutive game, and Rob Schremp and Frans Nielsen scored in the shootout as the Islanders beat Ottawa 4-3 at Scotiabank Place for their season-high fourth consecutive win.

Grabner, the NHL's First Star last week after scoring eight goals in four games, continued his sizzling scoring run when he tucked in a wraparound early in the third period for a shorthanded goal that tied the game 2-2. He now has 16 goals in his last 15 games and leads all rookies with 25.

"He's utilizing his strength, which is his speed and acceleration," interim coach Jack Capuano said. "He's got two pretty good linemates (Nielsen and Kyle Okposo) who understand what his strengths are. He stayed with the puck after the breakaway and was rewarded for that."

Grabner then set up the go-ahead goal with a perfect blind pass to Josh Bailey, whose slap shot from the slot beat Brian Elliott at 6:39 for his first goal in 22 games. But Erik Karlsson's blast from the slot with 4:01 remaining got the Senators even and forced OT.

In the shootout, Schremp and Nielsen scored for the Isles after Alexei Kovalev opened the tiebreaker by beating Nathan Lawson. The 27-year-old rookie, who made 28 saves through regulation and OT, stopped Jason Spezza and Bobby Butler for his first NHL victory -- he's the sixth Islander goalie to earn a victory this season.

"He kept us in the game," Capuano said of Lawson. "It was well-deserving that he get that win."

Lawson was playing for the first time since going down with a knee injury on Jan. 22.

"It was an awesome win for the boys," Lawson said. "We came back, battled out there and showed our resilience to win in the shootout,"

The Senators dropped to 0-9 in games decided after regulation. They are winless at home since Dec. 26 and have just two victories in their last 20 games. After the game, they dealt 30-year-old center Chris Kelly to Boston for the Bruins' second-round pick in the Entry Draft this June.

"We didn't roll over. We played hard. We were playing against a team that is as hot as anyone," coach Cory Clouston said. "They're scoring a lot of goals. They're dangerous offensively.

"It's a small consolation, but our guys worked hard and there was a lot of good things, especially from some of our young guys."

Butler had the only goal of the first period, firing home a power-play rebound at 17:55 after Lawson stopped a blast by Spezza. The Islanders tied it 8:07 into the second when Blake Comeau whipped Ty Wishart's pass behind Elliott from the lower right circle.

Ryan Shannon put Ottawa back on top at 12:57, beating Lawson with a slapper from the slot for another power-play goal.

Grabner's speed led to his goal. He misfired on a shorthanded breakaway, but was fast enough to pick up the pick, zip around Elliott after the goaltender came out to play him, and tuck the puck inside the right post.

 Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.
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