Radek Faksa’s short-handed goal in the second period broke a deadlock and held up as the winner as the host Dallas Stars defeated the New York Islanders 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Marian Studenic and Tyler Seguin also scored for the Stars (40-26-3, 83 points), who have won eight of their last 11 games and jumped back into the second wild-card position in the Western Conference. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 19 saves.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brock Nelson replied for the Islanders (32-28-9, 73 points), who saw their four-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 shots.
New York is 11 points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining.
Faksa’s tally just past the midway point of the middle frame put the Stars ahead for the third time. Luke Glendening stole the puck at his own blueline and fed a crossing pass that Faksa redirected into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
The closest New York came to finding the equalizer came when Mathew Barzal had a glorious chance with three minutes remaining, but Oettinger reached out as he pushed across the crease and stopped the shot with his arm.
The Stars controlled the play from the drop of the puck and were rewarded when Studenic opened the scoring at 7:29. His line, which also includes Seguin and Jamie Benn, concluded a dominating shift when Studenic buried a long rebound for his second goal of the season and first since being claimed off waivers from the New Jersey Devils in February.
Pageau tied the game when he elected to shoot during a two-on-one rush and converted at 11:47 of the opening frame. But Seguin put the Stars ahead again with 47 seconds remaining in the first period when he deflected Joel Hanley’s point shot for his 20th goal of the season.
However, Nelson again tied the score again when he converted on a three-on-one rush 31 seconds into the second period for his 33rd of the season.
The Islanders, despite having a razor-thin margin for error to keep their playoff hopes alive, managed only 10 shots on goal through the first two periods, with only three of them in the middle frame.
–Field Level Media