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Nielsen's two goals lead Islanders past Ducks

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com

ANAHEIM -- Frans Nielsen scored two goals in the third period to help the New York Islanders to a 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Friday.

The Islanders led 2-1 before Nielsen scored off a feed from Josh Bailey at 2:47. He got his second of the night and seventh of the season at 16:28 off an excellent feed by Anders Lee.

Brock Nelson and Cal Clutterbuck also scored for New York (9-6-3), which won two of three games on its California road trip. Thomas Greiss made 24 saves.

The four-goal game came as somewhat of a relief for the Islanders, who had scored 10 goals in their previous six games in November.

"It's been a little dry by our standards, so for us to come out here and get the offense going a little bit, it's huge bringing us back home," Lee said. "I think we all stuck with our program here. It can be frustrating for all of us sometimes when things aren't going your way. But if you kind of continue to work hard and continue to play your game and not change things, we can get a bunch of them."

New York coach Jack Capuano was more impressed with his defensemen, particularly for limiting Anaheim's effectiveness on the forecheck.

"We stayed with it and I thought we were resilient tonight," Capuano said. "I thought they made a push, but I thought our [defense] really played well tonight. They come really hard on the forecheck, and I thought were were able to exit the zones pretty well tonight on our breakouts. Even when they got that 5-on-3 goal, we kept pushing."

It was Corey Perry who scored the 5-on-3 goal. His second goal in as many games moved him past Paul Kariya into second place on the Ducks' all-time goals list with 301; Teemu Selanne is first with 457.

Nelson opened the scoring with his second goal in as many games 6:36 into the first period. He snapped a shot from the high slot that beat Ducks goalie Anton Khudobin for his fifth goal.

Clutterbuck increased New York's lead to 2-0 at 9:35 of the second period. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk's point shot hit Clutterbuck and dropped at his feet; he turned quickly and wristed a shot past Khudobin from the edge of the right circle for his fourth goal.

Perry's 5-on-3 goal at 11:23 of the second cut Anaheim's deficit to one. He has five goals and eight points in his past six games.

Khudobin made 25 saves for the Ducks (5-8-4), including six during a 5-on-3 power play for the Islanders in the first period.

That two-man advantage, which spanned 1:53, was key for New York. Although the Islanders were frustrated by their inability to capitalize, Capuano said he liked the way they moved past it and continued with their game plan.

"The thing about 5-on-3s like that is a lot of times when you have long 5-on-3s and you don't score, you end up losing the game," Capuano said. "When they got their 5-on-3, they kind of got a lucky goal. They obviously won that battle 1-0, but I think we did a great job of just sticking with them."

Anaheim has lost three in a row (0-1-2), all at home.

"Any time you lose by three in your building, it's never a fun feeling," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "We weren't even really satisfied with the couple of points we've gotten in the last couple of games. It's a disappointing feeling. Not much to be explained."

Center Ryan Kesler said the Ducks need to change their approach.

"It's a mindset," he said. "We've got to get back to having fun again and it being loose around here. It's like walking on eggshells around here right now. We've just got to get back to having fun and enjoying hockey again."

Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech had one shot on goal and a plus-1 rating in 13:19 of ice time in his NHL debut.

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