NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With exactly one third of the NHL season left to play, the Islanders look to be kicking things into another gear as they chase their first division title since 1988.
Devon Toews scored the tiebreaking goal early in the second period, Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots and New York beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Sunday.
Anthony Beauvillier also scored for Metropolitan Division-leading New York, which won for the fourth time in five games and ninth in 12 (9-1-2). The Islanders, who beat Colorado 4-3 in overtime Saturday, improved to 15-2-1 in back-to-back games, including 9-0-0 on the back end.
Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild, who lost for the fifth time in six games (1-3-2). Devan Dubnyk, starting for the second straight game after facing just 18 shots in a 4-2 win at New Jersey on Saturday, had 32 saves.
Minnesota pressed for the tying goal in the third, outshooting New York 12-9 in the period after totaling just 15 shots over the first 40 minutes. Greiss had four saves in close on one Wild power play in the middle of the period, stopping a tip by Eric Staal, a shot by Jason Zucker and two more tries by Staal.
Greiss improved to 4-0-1 in his last five games, giving up just three goals on 157 shots in the stretch. His lone loss was 1-0 in a shootout against Tampa Bay at the Nassau Coliseum on Feb. 1.
The Islanders finished 1-for-6 on the power play, and the Wild were 1-for-3.
Granlund tied the score 1-1 with a power-play goal 38 seconds into the second period. A rebound of Eric Staal’s shot came out to Jason Zucker on the right side and as Greiss came out to cut off his angle, Zucker sent the puck across to the left where Granlund put it into the open net for his 13th.
Toews put the Islanders back in front at 2:01 on a power play with his fourth goal, a one-timer from the left slot off a pass from Ryan Pulock.
The Islanders outshot Minnesota 15-9 in the first, sending nearly as many shots at Dubnyk as he faced the entire game the previous day.
Beauvillier gave New York a 1-0 lead with just under six minutes left in the opening period with his 13th of the season and first in 12 games. Valtteri Filppula brought the puck up the right side and passed to Beauvillier, who was streaking up the middle alone, and he beat Dubnyk on the right side. The goalie got a piece of the shot, but the puck trickled across the line.
Filppula had a chance to double the lead on a 3-on-2 break with a little more than a minute left in the first, but his attempt in front hit Dubnyk and then was covered up the goalie, who fell back on the ice and appeared unaware it was under him.
NOTES: The teams conclude season series March 17 at Minnesota.
The Islanders were without F Cal Clutterbuck for the second straight game after he sustained a lower-body injury Thursday night at New Jersey. Beauvillier now has two goals and four points in five games against Minnesota. Pulock, who scored twice including the OT winner against Colorado on Saturday, now has five assists and seven points in his last five games.
The Islanders visit Buffalo on Tuesday night to open a stretch of five of six on the road.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)