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game recap

Islanders top Senators, end four-game losing streak

Tavares triggers three-goal second period, Berube makes 22 saves

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- John Tavares, Matt Martin and Brock Nelson scored in the second period to help the New York Islanders to a 3-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Barclays Center on Wednesday. 

Jean-Francois Berube made 22 saves for New York (39-24-9), which ended a four-game losing streak and pulled within one point of the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders moved four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

New York will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. 

"We did a good job of getting a lead, especially [against] a team that had to travel and played [Tuesday] night," Tavares said. "Good to see some pucks go in. Hopefully it can lead to some more."

Video: OTT@NYI: Tavares puts in rebound for Islanders' lead

Mark Stone scored and Andrew Hammond made 20 saves for Ottawa (34-33-8), which lost 4-2 at home to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The Senators host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. 

"This time of the year, we're going to be tired no matter what," Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "We had a tough game [Tuesday] where I think we battled hard and came in [to New York] late, but that's how it is in this League. It's a good learning curve for a lot of people. We know we've got to take something from it." 

Berube made a highlight-reel save seven minutes into the game when he dove across his crease and got his catching glove on what appeared to be a sure goal for Stone. 

The Islanders failed to capitalize on two power plays they were awarded in the first 2:43 of the game and have gone seven straight games without scoring a goal in the first period.

Video: OTT@NYI: Martin, Nelson each score within 21 seconds

"To me, we've got to fight through that mentally," coach Jack Capuano said. "The power plays were not very good at all, and it can really hurt the momentum and the surge that you have. Right off that bat, we had two [power plays], and it didn't do us any justice. We didn't generate much. But we stayed with it and we came back in the second and third, and I thought we played pretty well. Our penalty kill came up big when it had to and [Berube] came up big too. It's good to get back on the winning track, especially at home in front of our fans."

Tavares opened the scoring 5:24 into the second period. After a faceoff win in the Senators' zone, Josh Bailey's slap shot from the slot was denied by Hammond, but Tavares quickly knocked in the rebound for his first goal in six games. 

New York broke the game open when Martin and Nelson scored 21 seconds apart. 

Martin made it 2-0 with his eighth of the season when he redirected Travis Hamonic's slap shot from the right point past Hammond at 14:28. Shane Prince beat Senators defenseman Cody Ceci to the puck behind the net and fed Nelson in front for his 24th goal of the season and a 3-0 lead.

Video: OTT@NYI: Berube robs Senators with back-to-back stops

It was the Islanders' first multiple-goal lead since their 6-4 win at the New York Rangers on March 6.

"It seems as of late, we've been playing catch-up a little bit," Hamonic said. "This time of year, goals are definitely hard to come by. Everyone's starting to play playoff hockey and gear up for the playoffs. Defensively, it's pretty stingy out there. 

"When you're maybe not playing your best as a team and you get behind, it's certainly not an easy feat to have to come back every night, but it makes life a little bit easier when you get that first one and that second one, and then we score again right away after that. They had a good push in the third, but I thought we did a really good job defensively."

Video: OTT@NYI: Stone goes top-shelf for nifty backhand goal

Ottawa finally solved Berube 6:21 into the third period on Stone's 23rd goal. Karlsson got his 62nd assist when he fed Stone in the slot for a high backhand shot that beat Berube. 

"You got the feeling as the second period went on that whoever got the first one was going to have a real advantage," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "Give them credit, they got it." 

Senators forward Bobby Ryan played his 600th NHL game.

Video: Islanders scored three in the 2nd, beat Senators 3-1

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