UNIONDALE (AP) — Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period and Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves, leading the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
Pageau got his seventh goal at 15:08 when he banged in a rebound after Oliver Wahlstrom‘s initial shot was stopped by Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark. Pageau was acquired in a trade with Ottawa a year ago and scored eight goals in the playoffs with the Islanders.
“My confidence is good. I’m trying to do my best and things are bouncing my way right now,’’ Pageau said. “I just have to keep going in the same direction.”
The Islanders beat the Sabres for the third straight time this season after two victories in Buffalo last week. The Islanders also moved to 5-0-1 at Nassau Coliseum, where they are playing their final season before moving to a new arena at Belmont Park next season.
“It feels like each game that passes, each game is the biggest game,’’ Islanders forward Matt Martin said. “It’s going to come down to the wire and we have to find ways to win as we did tonight.”
Martin put New York in front 3:01 into the third, beating Ullmark with a shot from just inside the blueline for his second goal of the season.
But Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart tied it at 2 at 5:48, batting the puck out of midair past Varlamov for this sixth goal.
Ullmark played well in the third, denying Brock Nelson and Adam Pelech on consecutive shots in the same sequence and stopping Pageau swooping in with just over nine minutes left. Ullmark made 20 saves.
“This is probably the most painful loss of the season for the way we were able to actually neutralize them, create opportunity but come out on the short end of the stick again,” Sabres coach Ralph Kreuger said.
Sabres forward Curtis Lazar opened the scoring with his fourth goal 17:15 into the first. It was only the fifth time in 15 games that the Sabres scored the first goal. Buffalo outshot New York 12-3 in the opening period.
Anders Lee tied it at 1 with his eighth of the season 3:56 into the second. After Mathew Barzal kept the puck in the Sabres zone, Lee finished a solid passing sequence with Ryan Pulock and Jordan Eberle by backhanding the puck past Ullmark.
The Islanders have won six straight against the Sabres. The Sabres are 2-7-2 in their last 11 games overall against the Islanders.
Kings 3, Blues 0
ST. LOUIS — Dustin Brown scored two goals and veteran Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots for his 54th career shutout, lifting Los Angeles past St. Louis.
It was the second shutout this season for the 35-year-old Quick, who helped the Kings win two Stanley Cup championships in his career.
Gabriel Vilardi added a goal for the Kings, who scored in each period and extended their winning streak to five games. Brown closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 18:57 of the third.
Flames 3, Maple Leafs 0
TORONTO — David Rittich made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career as the Calgary Flames beat NHL-leading Toronto 3-0 on Monday night.
Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan each had a goal and an assist, and Sam Bennett added a goal for Calgary.
Rasmus Andersson added two assists for the Flames, who had lost four of five in regulation and had been outscored 14-3 in three straight losses, including a 7-1 decision to Edmonton on Saturday.
Michael Hutchinson stopped 30 shots in a surprise start for Toronto (14-4-2).
Both teams were without their No. 1 goalies.
Frederik Andersen sat out for the Leafs with a lower-body injury. Jacob Markstrom, who was pulled in his last two starts, didn’t dress for the Flames because of an upper-body ailment.
Panthers 3, Stars 1
SUNRISE, Fla. — Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle scored, Chris Driedger made 24 saves and Florida beat slumping Dallas.
Aleksander Barkov scored an empty-net goal to seal the Panthers’ sixth win in eight games.
Blake Comeau scored for Dallas, and Anton Khudobin stopped 49 of 51 shots. The Stars lost their sixth in a row and eighth of nine overall while playing their first game since Feb. 13 due to the weather conditions in Dallas.
Lightning 4, Hurricanes 2
RALEIGH, N.C. — Ondrej Palat snapped a tie 8:04 into the third period, and Tampa Bay beat Carolina.
Palat, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who were shut out in each of their first two matchups with the Hurricanes this season.
Jesper Fast scored his first two goals for Carolina. James Reimer made 28 saves, including 11 in the first period.
Golden Knights 3, Avalanche 0
DENVER — Alex Tuch scored twice as part of Vegas’ three-goal spree in the second period, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots and the Golden Knights cruised past Colorado.
Fleury earned his 64th career shutout in the finale of the four-game series, with the Knights and Avs each recording two wins. Jonathan Marchessault also scored for Vegas in the pivotal middle period.
Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves for Colorado.
Coyotes 4, Ducks 3
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Christian Dvorak scored two goals and Arizona rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Anaheim in a testy game.
The Ducks, the NHL’s lowest-scoring team, scored twice in the opening period and had a 3-0 lead early in the second.
Arizona stormed back to tie it in the second period with three goals in less than four minutes and went ahead in the third on Dvorak’s second goal.
Jakob Chychrun had a goal and an assist for Arizona. Derick Brassard also scored and Darcy Kuemper stopped 24 shots.
Cam Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg and Max Jones scored for Anaheim. John Gibson had 21 saves.
Wild 6, Sharks 2
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mats Zuccarello had a goal and three assists, and Minnesota beat San Jose for its third consecutive win.
It was the highest scoring game of the season for Minnesota.
Victor Rask had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who improved to 3-1 on their five-game road trip. Kirill Kaprizov, Marcus Foligno, Ian Cole and Jonas Brodin also scored, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 31 saves.
Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored for San Jose. Martin Jones made 16 saves on 20 shots before he was replaced by Devan Dubnyk.