Anders Lee scored twice Sunday afternoon for the New York Islanders, who moved back into sole possession of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference by beating the visiting San Jose Sharks, 4-1, in Uniondale, N.Y.
The win was the second straight following a four-game losing streak for the Islanders, who snapped a three-way tie for the two wild card spots with the idle Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Sharks fell to 0-3-0 on a four-game East Coast trip.
The two-goal game was the first of the season and the 24th of Lee's career. He had a chance at his first NHL hat trick when he corralled the puck in the Sharks' zone with the San Jose net empty, but he dished to a wide-open Josh Bailey, who iced the victory with 2:19 left.
Devon Toews scored late in the second for the Islanders while Mathew Barzal had the primary assist on both of Lee's goals. Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves.
Dylan Gambrell scored in the first period for the Sharks. Goalie Martin Jones recorded 22 saves.
Barzal and Lee hooked up for the first time to give the Islanders the lead early in the first.
Teammate Jordan Eberle won a battle for the puck near center ice and the puck bounced to Barzal, who streaked up the right side with Lee following along across the ice. Barzal then sent a pass through the outstretched stick of Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to Lee, who fired a shot that banged off the left post and into the net at the 6:49 mark.
The Sharks tied the score a little under four minutes later when Radim Simek's shot from just in front of the blue line ticked off Gambrell, who had his back to the net as he fought for position with Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock, and fluttered past Varlamov with 9:24 left.
Barzal and Lee teamed up to put the Islanders ahead for good 70 seconds into the second.
Toews tapped the puck to Barzal in the neutral zone before Barzal weaved his way around Gambrell and passed to Lee, whose shot landed in almost the same spot in the upper left corner of the net as his first goal.
A Sharks turnover deep in their own territory led to Toews' goal late in the period. Brock Nelson stole the puck from Barclay Goodrow behind the San Jose net and passed to Toews, who was wide open in the slot and fired a shot over Jones' glove with 2:22 left.
--Field Level Media