Not much has been going right lately for the New Jersey Devils, the defending Stanley Cup champions. Injuries and a rare slump knocked them into third place in the East, with several other teams threatening to pass them.
But the Devils beat the New York Islanders, 4-1, Tuesday night, for their second straight victory.
Alexander Mogilny scored the winner in the closing seconds of the second period, and Turner Stevenson tallied twice in the third as New Jersey moved within one point of first-place Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.
The Devils also benefited when Philadelphia was beaten, 3-2, at home by Montreal.
Devils coach Larry Robinson couldn't stress enough how happy he was to escape Long Island with a victory.
"It was a very, very big win for us," he said.
New Jersey, 3-4-3-1 in the last 11 games, was atop the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference before injuries took their toll -- sidelining Mogilny, Jason Arnott, Scott Gomez, Sergei Brylin and Petr Sykora.
Mogilny, the only one of the group back on the ice, also had two assists in Monday's victory over Florida.
"Bottom line is two wins," Mogilny said. "We've been struggling a little bit lately and it's good to get two wins back to back."
Martin Brodeur stopped a penalty shot taken by New York's Dave Scatchard in the scoreless first period. The teams were tied at 1 when Mogilny put the Devils in front for good with 15.7 seconds left in the middle period.
"There's no question the second goal really hurt us," Islanders coach Butch Goring said. "We had a really good game up until that time."
Petrov's speed kills Flyers
PHILADELPHIA -- Montreal Canadiens forward Oleg Petrov keeps impressing his teammates.
"He's one of the fastest players in the league," center Saku Koivu said after Petrov had a goal and an assist to help the Canadiens snap a six-game losing streak by surprising the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2.
"We've known for a long time that speed is part of his game."
Stephane Robidas and Chad Kilger also scored as the Canadiens tied a club record by managing only 13 shots on goal. Montreal was outshot, 15-3, in the second period, but extended its lead to 3-1.
"We were all mentally ready to play," Koivu said. "We won a lot of one-on-one battles early in the game, and that was the difference."
Jose Theodore stopped 29 shots for the Canadiens. He preserved his 14th win of the season when he kicked away a close shot by Ruslan Fedotenko with three minutes left.
Peter White and Keith Primeau scored for the Flyers, who were unbeaten in their previous eight home games (7-0-1) since losing to New Jersey on Jan. 18.
Around the rinks
Steve Sullivan scored twice, including the winner on a breakaway with 13:43 to play, as the Blackhawks beat the Capitals, 3-2. Eric Daze also scored for the Blackhawks. Dmitri Khristich and Adam Oates scored for the Capitals, who had several streaks end. The Capitals had gone 12 games without a loss, matching the longest streak in the NHL this season. . . . Ziggy Palffy scored a short-handed goal with 4:08 left in the third period to give the Kings a 2-1 win over the Predators. . . . Boston's Lee Goren and Jarno Kultanen scored their first NHL goals as the Bruins beat the Coyotes, 7-4. John Graham started in goal for Boston, which will be without Byron Dafoe for another 10 days. . . . Steve Staios' wrist shot with 2:11 remaining forced overtime as the Thrashers set a franchise record with 44 shots in a 1-1 tie with the Hurricanes.