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game recap

Predators top Islanders, keep pace in Central

Nashville remains in third place; New York fails to pull even for second wild card

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The Nashville Predators remained in third place in the Central Division with a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Monday.

Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen scored and Juuse Saros made 24 saves for the Predators (39-25-11), who have won four in a row and seven of their past eight games. They have 87 points with seven games remaining. They have a one-point lead on the St. Louis Blues, who also have seven games left.

"All of us are on the same page," Predators center Ryan Johansen said. "We're playing a team game. You look at all the teams that are successful at this time of the year, and in the postseason it's the depth of your team that comes out and we've got a lot of guys stepping up."

 

WATCH: All Predators vs. Islanders highlights

 

Josh Bailey scored and Thomas Greiss made 28 saves for the Islanders (35-28-12), who have lost back-to-back games and five straight at home (0-4-1). They trail the Boston Bruins by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and were passed in the standings by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who won 5-4 in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Boston is home against Nashville on Tuesday. The Islanders and Lightning don't play again until Thursday.

The Islanders also lost 2-1 to the Bruins on Saturday. They are 3-4-1 since playing nine straight games on the road from Feb. 21-March 11.

"Just pizzazz, you know, that jump," Islanders coach Doug Weight said of what has been missing lately. "I've been through it [as a player] where you have to be at the top of your level for the last 4-6 weeks, trying to make the playoffs and every game is a playoff game. It's tough. We've got to find a way to dig deeper and try to put games together."

The Predators had a 2-0 lead on goals from Fiala, his ninth, at 10:17 of the first period and Arvidsson, his 29th, at 3:15 of the second.

Video: NSH@NYI: Johansen seals win with empty-net goal

"I thought we dictated the pace early on," Johansen said. "From the way it looked on the bench and out on the ice, it felt like we had the speed and they were trying to keep up with us."

Weight lamented the Islanders' lack of emotion in the first period -- "We just kind of danced around," he said -- but he switched up the lines in the second, and it worked. The Islanders made it 2-1 on Bailey's 13th of the season at 17:20 of the second period.

But the Islanders started the third period on the penalty kill with Jason Chimera in the box for holding P.K. Subban 190 feet from their net at the end of the second. They had 10 shots on goal in the third, but Saros turned them all aside.

"I thought we were going to have a good third and find a way to win," Weight said. "We didn't have enough."

 

Goal of the game

Arvidsson beat Anders Lee twice to give Nashville a 2-0 lead. He got past Lee to a loose puck behind the net and moved it behind to Filip Forsberg. Arvidsson slammed off the end boards, but still got to the slot before Lee for a redirection goal that went off his skate and then stick blade.

Video: NSH@NYI: Arvidsson taps home Forsberg's nifty feed

 

Save of the game

Saros stopped Calvin de Haan's tip-in attempt from the slot with his right pad to preserve the 2-1 lead at 6:43 of the third period.

Video: NSH@NYI: Saros extends pad to deny de Haan's tip

 

Highlight of the game

Fiala scored off the rush as Nick Leddy and Adam Pelech were backing up. He got the puck from Calle Jarnkrok at the top of the right circle, moved into the middle and beat Greiss with a low stick-side shot.

Video: NSH@NYI: Fiala wires home wrister to open the scoring

 

Unsung performance of the game

With 8:53 remaining in the third period, Colton Sissons raced back into the zone to deny the Islanders a chance on a 3-on-2 rush by reaching out his stick and ruining Chimera's pass to Anthony Beauvillier. Sissons was in front of the Islanders net when the rush started. He won five of seven faceoffs and had three hits in 13:42 of ice time.

 

They said it

"The main thing for us tonight was defense. We had some chances. Their goaltending was good as well, but we got enough to win and our defensive side of the game was great. … If we're going to be successful going forward, it's going to have to be the same way. -- Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis

 

"We've been emotionally invested for six weeks now trying to get back into this. It's not an excuse. It's just tough to do. We've got to find a way to do it." -- Islanders coach Doug Weight

 

Need to know

Predators center Mike Fisher missed his third straight game because of a lower-body injury. He won't play Tuesday either. … Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. … Predators defenseman Roman Josi played in his 400th NHL game.

 

What's next

Predators: At the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNO, TVA Sports, NESN, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNO, CSN-PH, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Balanced offense leads Preds past Islanders, 3-1

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