NEW YORK — Tom Kuhnhackl scored two unusual goals to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist and Josh Bailey also scored to help the Islanders end a three-game skid. Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each had two assists and Thomas Greiss stopped 22 shots as New York improved to 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings against Vancouver.
Brendan Leipsic had a goal and an assist, and Jake Virtanen also scored for the Canucks, who have lost two straight after a 4-0-2 stretch. Jacob Markstrom, starting for the ninth straight game with Anders Nilsson injured, finished with 29 saves.
Kuhnhackl got his second of the game at 3:26 of the third period as Eberle’s pass from the right corner deflected off Kuhnhackl’s stick, a Vancouver defenceman’s stick, and then Kuhnhackl’s skate and in to push the Islanders’ lead to 4-2. The goal stood after a video review, giving Kuhnhackl his first career multi-goal game.
Cal Clutterbuck scored a power-play goal with 2:54 left, the Islanders’ first in four games with the man-advantage.
Trailing 3-1 after one period, the Canucks pulled within one on a power-play goal early in the second as Virtanen knocked in a rebound in front for his eighth of the season at 2:51.
Leipsic got the Canucks on the scoreboard first, taking a pass from Michael Del Zotto at the bottom of the left circle and beating Greiss up high for his second of the season 2:48 into the game.
The Islanders went ahead with two goals 45 seconds apart. Kuhnhackl tied it as he swiped a backhander from his knees while falling down below the left circle, and the puck managed to sneak in between Markstrom’s right pad and the post at 5:11.
New York went ahead when Bailey tried to send a pass across to Anders Lee at the right side of the net, but the puck deflected off the skate of Vancouver defenceman Christopher Tanev and in at 5:56. It was Bailey’s sixth of the season. Barzal’s assist on the play gave him 100 points for his career.
Eberle pushed the Islanders’ lead to 3-1 as he took a pass from Brock Nelson from the left corner and poked it past Markstrom from the right side in front with 5:10 left in the opening period. Nelson got his 200th career point.
NOTES: Loui Eriksson had an assist on Virtanen’s goal, giving him nine assists and 16 points in 16 games against the Islanders. He also has four assists and eight points in his last six games. … Vancouver dropped to 5-2-1 when scoring first. … The teams meet again Feb. 23 at Vancouver. … Islanders forward Andrew Ladd injured his right leg late in the second period, and did not play in the third. … Eberle has 19 goals and 10 assists in 38 career games against the Canucks. … Nelson has four assists and 11 points in his last 11 games. … New York improved to 8-0-2 when leading after two periods. … Jennifer Botterill, a three-time Olympic gold medallist on Canada’s women’s hockey team, made her debut as an analyst on the Islanders broadcast on MSG Network. She joined Shannon Burke, Butch Goring and Brendan Burke.
Canucks: At Minnesota on Thursday night to finish a six-game trip.
Islanders: Host the crosstown-rival Rangers on Thursday night.
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Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press