Robin Lehner stops 31 shots as Islanders blank Coyotes 2-0
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson scored to back Robin Lehner’s fifth shutout of the season as the New York Islanders beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-0 Sunday.
Lehner stopped 31 shots to help the Islanders win for the second time in two days and keep pace with first place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals, who beat Philadelphia 3-1 earlier Sunday, lead New York by one point with six games remaining for both teams, including a matchup at Washington in the season finale on April 6.
Starting for the second straight day, Lehner had nine saves in the first period, and 11 each in the second and third to improve to 22-12-5 this season. The Islanders, who beat the Flyers 4-2 on Saturday, improved to 11-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.
With New York leading 1-0, defenseman Johnny Boychuk was called for slashing at 6:42 of the third but the Islanders completely smothered the Coyotes on the ensuing power play. At 8:47, the Islanders had their chance with the man advantage when Arizona defenseman Jason Demers was called for hooking.
Lehner then stopped the speedy former Islander Michael Grabner — who has a league-best six short-handed goals this season — on a breakaway.
Nelson made it 2-0 with 3:14 remaining with his 24th of the season. It was initially waved off by the officials but the call was overturned after a video review.
Eberle put the Islanders ahead 4:37 into the game when he tapped a rebound of Nick Leddy’s shot past Darcy Kuemper. It was Eberle’s 15th of the season, but just his second since Feb. 9.
Kuemper finished with 24 saves as the Coyotes lost their fifth straight (0-3-2), and finished 0-3-1 on a four-game trip. Arizona hasn’t won since March 14 against Anaheim at home, where there will play four of their last six games as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Kuemper kept the Coyotes in the game with a series of excellent saves in the second period.
NOTES: The Islanders were 12-6-2 this season at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and are now 11-6-2 at Nassau Coliseum with two home games remaining. … New York’s Barry Trotz coached his 1,600th career game, moving seven games behind former Islanders coach Al Arbour who is third on the all-time list. … The Islanders are 30-14-6 when the line of Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck all play. … The Islanders scratched D Thomas Hickey, D Luca Sbisa, F Tom Kuhnhackl, F Michael Dal Colle, F Ross Johnston and injured F Valtteri Filppula. … Arizona scratched D Jakob Chychrun, D Kevin Connauton, F Nick Cousins. and F Conor Garland. … The Islanders won the previous meeting 3-1 on Dec. 18 in Arizona.
Islanders: At Columbus on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: Host Chicago on Tuesday night.