NEW YORK (AP)Anders Lee scored two of New York’s four third-period goals, helping the Islanders beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday.
New York improved to 5-2-1 in its last eight games and remained in position for one of two Eastern Conference wild cards. Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri also scored, and Ilya Sorokin made 22 saves.
“We need wins, that’s just the bottom line,” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said. “Doing it while going into the third period being down was even bigger.”
Detroit dropped its fifth straight game. Dylan Larkin scored for the sliding Red Wings, and Magnus Hellberg finished with 32 stops.
New York went ahead to stay when Parise and Lee scored early in the third.
Parise got his 16th of the season at 2:11. Sebastian Aho skated the puck into the offensive zone, and then redirected a shot from Palmieri before Parise cleaned up the rebound.
“You are just waiting for a break and we finally got one,” Parise said. “We are going to be playing a lot of those tight games and we are going to have to bury our opportunities. It’s going to be tight here on out.”
Lee made it 2-1 when he deflected Hudson Fasching’s shot past Hellberg at 4:39.
Palmieri added a power-play goal at 15:41 when he redirected a booming one-time slap shot from Noah Dobson, and Lee scored again at 17:21 after a Larkin turnover in the neutral zone.
It was the 24th goal on the season for Lee and No. 236 for his career, passing Bobby Nystrom for eighth place on the franchise scoring list.
“If we continued playing the way we were, we knew we’d at least get our looks,” Lee said. “When Zach put that in, it alleviated some of the press a little bit, and then we rolled from there.”
Larkin opened the scoring on a Detroit power play late in the second period. Defenseman Moritz Seider found Larkin all alone to the side of Sorokin, and the Red Wings captain snapped a shot to the far side.
“This is a bad matchup for us, Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “You got to get on a roll and fight through a team that’s going to defend their net. It’s uncomfortable, we don’t have many of that type of player.”
The 26-year-old Larkin, a Michigan native, finalized an eight-year, $69.6 million contract with Detroit on Wednesday. The Red Wings selected Larkin in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft.
Pierre Engvall made his Islanders debut after he was acquired in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2024 third-round draft pick. Engvall skated with Bo Horvat and Lee on the team’s top line. … Red Wings goalie Villie Husso left practice early on Friday and did not dress. Detroit recalled Alex Nedeljkovic from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.
Islanders: Host Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
Red Wings: Visit Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
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