Stajan scores late, helps Flames beat Islanders

ALLAN KREDA Associated Press Published:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Matt Stajan scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period and rookie Reto Berra made 28 saves as the Calgary Flames beat the New York Islanders 4-2 Thursday night.

Stajan banked the puck off the Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov from a sharp angle at 14:28 to lift the Flames to their sixth victory in seven games and their first at Nassau Coliseum since 2004. It was the 10th goal of the season for Stajan.

Mikael Backlund added an empty-net goal for the Flames.

Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman scored in the second period to put Calgary ahead 2-0. But the Islanders rallied to tie it on goals by defensemen Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan.

The Islanders went on the power-play with three minutes left when Jiri Hudler was called for hooking but couldn't muster much of an attack.

Monahan's team-leading 16th goal opening the scoring at 14:15 of the second when he wristed a loose puck from outside the crease over Nabokov's left shoulder. The 19-year-old rookie center was the sixth overall pick by the Flames in last June's draft.

Wideman made it 2-0 at 18:08 with a snapshot from the slot, his fourth of the season.

Hickey cut the deficit in half at 19:53 of the second, snapping the puck past Berra for his fourth of the season.

The Islanders tied it at 7:31 of the third when de Haan blasted a shot past Berra. John Tavares and Thomas Vanek had assists on the second goal of the season for the rookie defenseman.

It was the first point in five games for Tavares, who is second in league scoring with 23 goals and 42 assists, 12 points behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

The Flames had only 22 shots but made them count. Calgary (22-28-7) finishes its road trip with a visit to Philadelphia on Saturday before the Olympic break.

The Islanders (22-29-8) came into the game with just one win in their last six games. They were within five points of a playoff spot when they beat the Rangers 5-3 on Jan. 21 but six losses in seven games has essentially ruined their postseason hopes.

The Islanders were starting a five-game homestand before and after the Olympic break. They'll host Colorado on Saturday before the NHL season halts for the Winter Games at Sochi. They'll resume against Toronto on Feb. 27.

Calgary swept a five-game homestand before losing at Montreal 2-0 on Tuesday.

The Islanders had won three straight and five of six against Flames, including the last three on Long Island. The teams last met Dec. 29, 2011, when the Islanders won 3-1. The last time the Flames won at Nassau was Jan. 6, 2004.

The Islanders are 19-7-3 when they score at least three goals and are 3-22-5 when they do not.

NOTES: The teams will play again March 7 in Calgary . The Islanders remained without defenseman Travis Hamonic (upper body) . The Flames were missing goaltender Karri Ramo (knee) and forward Curtis Glencross (ankle).