NYI 2 0 1 3
NJ 0 1 0 1
Date of game: 4/1/2013

Recap: New Jersey vs. NY Islanders

Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves to backstop the postseason hopeful New York Islanders to a critical 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

The Islanders remained tied with the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but closed within two points of seventh-place New Jersey with their fourth win in five games.

"When you win it's always fun and everyone was chipping in tonight," said Nabokov. "I think that when you're winning, it's because everyone is doing the little things."

Martin Brodeur stopped 18 shots for a Devils club that has dropped four straight. The three previous setbacks had come after regulation.

"Last year we were in a similar situation and we won our last six games, or something like that, to get in the playoffs," said Brodeur. "We just have to find a way to start scraping away."

The Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals by Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic.

Bailey lit the lamp 52 seconds after the game's opening faceoff, capping a nifty passing sequence that began with a Kyle Okposo collecting a stretch pass at the red line. Okposo quickly dished to Frans Nielsen to create a 2-on-1 rush and Nielsen saucered the puck over to Bailey, who beat Brodeur with a backhander.

Hamonic was able to put a soft shot from the right point past Brodeur at the 7:14 mark.

Alexei Ponikarovsky put New Jersey on the board when he used the backhand to direct Patrik Elias's pass through the pads of Nabokov at 8:01 of the second frame.

The Islanders regained a two-goal cushion near the midway point of the third period. Brodeur pushed Lubomir Visnovsky's bid away with his paddle, but the puck went right to John Tavares and he buried it for a power-play goal at 9:13.

Game Notes

New Jersey forward Dainius Zubrus returned to the lineup after missing 26 games. He underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist on Feb. 14 ... The Islanders improved to 11-5-1 on the road this season.

Winston cleared of FSU conduct violations

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was found not to have violated the university's conduct code over allegations that he sexually assaulted a fellow student in December 2012.

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into primetime for Week 17

The NFL announced Sunday night that the AFC North showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will be the NBC primetime game for Week 17.

Giants acquire McGehee from Marlins

The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.

Vancouver's Hansen collapses on bench

Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen collapsed on the bench during the second period of Saturday's game against the Calgary Flames and had to be helped to the locker room.

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