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PHILADELPHIA (AP) –Josh Bailey scored twice 1:23 apart in the third period, stopping a 12-game drought, and the Islanders beat the Flyers 4-2 on Saturday. Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson also scored for New York, which had dropped two in a row and three of four overall.
Robin Lehner made 22 stops. The Islanders (43-25-7) moved within a point of idle Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere scored for Philadelphia and Carter Hart made 36 saves.
The Flyers (36-31-8) had won two of three, including a 3-1 victory at Chicago on Thursday night. But the home loss against New York is a big blow to their fleeting chances of rallying to the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
“I’m sure it’s weighing on the players, knowing how time is winding down here with seven games left,” Flyers coach Scott Gordon said. “Obviously, we weren’t in a position, never mind to have a losing streak, but to lose more than this one game. That’s where we’re at right now.”
Gostisbehere tied it at 2 with a power-play goal 6:16 into the third, but the Islanders went ahead to stay on Bailey’s scoring flurry.
First, Nelson won a board battle to get the puck to Bailey, who sprinted down the right wing and snapped a pretty shot past Hart for his 15th of the season. On his very next shift, Bailey took a pass from Leo Komorov and one-timed a shot past Hart to make it 4-2 at 17:26.
Hagg opened the scoring in the first period with a wacky goal. His shot was a good six feet wide of the net, but it took a strange carom off the end boards, hit Islanders forward Casey Cizakas in the leg, and then off the back of Lehner’s glove and into the net.
But New York rebounded quickly. Nelson scored on a baseball swing in front of the net and Leddy capped off a dominating shift by the Islanders with his fourth goal of the season on a slap shot from the high slot 10:58 into the second.
NOTES: Islanders D Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup after missing six games with a concussion suffered against the Flyers on March 9. Flyers F Jake Voracek was suspended two games for the hit on Boychuk. Despite a lot of talk about bitter feelings between the teams, there was no carryover into this contest. … F Phil Varone was the latest Flyer to have to miss a game because of the flu. With Varone out, Justin Bailey was once again in the lineup.
Islanders: Return home to host Arizona on Sunday.
Flyers: Visit Washington on Sunday.
(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)