OTTAWA - Trent Hunter scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Joey MacDonald made 29 saves to lead the New York Islanders to a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
Hunter's power-play goal was one of two by the Islanders on the night. Bill Guerin also scored as slumping New York, got the better of the also-struggling Senators before a crowd of 19,061 at Scotiabank Place in the opening game of a home-and-home series that continues Saturday on Long Island.
The Islanders (5-9-2) stopped a three-game winless slide.
Rookie Josh Bailey, in his second NHL game, recorded his first career point with an assist.
Filip Kuba, on the power play, had the lone goal for the Senators (6-8-2), who have now lost their past three contests.
Alex Auld finished with 28 saves for Ottawa, which was booed off the ice by its frustrated fans at the end of the game.
Ryan Shannon, acquired in a September trade from the Vancouver Canucks, was called up Wednesday from Binghamton of the AHL after Senators left-winger Jarkko Ruutu received a two-game suspension for his hit to the head of Montreal's Maxim Lapierre in a loss to the Canadiens on Tuesday.
Ottawa had managed just one goal in its past two games and in search of production, the 25-year-old Shannon, one of the AHL team's leading scorers, was immediately assigned to its No. 1 line alongside centre Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley.
The Senators started off well, getting a power-play goal from Kuba his first for Ottawa since joining the team in an off-season trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 1:53 mark of the period on their first shot of the contest.
However, it would be more than 11 minutes at 13:34 of the first - before they'd register another shot and their first at even strength.
The Islanders tied it with a power-play goal of their own when Bailey picked up a rebound and fed Okposo in the slot to score into an open net.
Ottawa was outshot 16-5 through the opening frame.
The Senators gave MacDonald a busier second period, but it was the Islanders who scored the only goal.
With New York enjoying the man advantage, the puck bounced out in front of Auld from a faceoff in the Ottawa zone and Hunter lifted Kuba's stick in order to shovel the puck past the goaltender.
Doug Weight then set up Guerin for a tap-in goal that appeared to go off the stick of Senators centre Mike Fisher early in the third to make it 3-1.
The Senators had several good chances to narrow the gap, particularly after New York defenceman Thomas Pock received a five-minute major and game misconduct after catching Shannon in the head with an elbow late in the period, but couldn't beat MacDonald.
Notes: The Senators came into the game with a 36-11-11-1 record all-time against the Islanders, including 18-6-5-0 on home ice. ...Defenceman Luke Richardson was a healthy scratch for Ottawa. ...Former Senator Mike Comrie, who's listed as day-to-day with a hip injury, sat out his second straight game for the Islanders.