BOSTON — The New York Islanders’ surge toward the postseason continues.
Josh Bailey scored both goals for New York in a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, putting the Islanders two points closer to their first playoff appearance since 2007.
“Every win is big at this point in the season. We needed to get one here,” said Bailey, who broke a scoreless tie when he scored with just 21 seconds left in the first period.
The Islanders had been outplayed by the Bruins, then got back to playing the way they’ve been during the recent stretch that has them at No. 7 in the Eastern Conference standings with seven games left to play. The Islanders are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and have at least a point in their last six.
“The guys are doing the right things at the right times,” coach Jack Capuano said. “They’re believing in one another. They’re believing in the system and how we have to play.”
Mark Streit had two assists and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 shots for the Islanders, whose 46 points puts them up two points ahead of the Rangers before the New York rivalry resumes Saturday on Long Island.
“The guys are sacrificing bodies and the guys are playing well,” Nabokov said. “Like I keep saying _ it always takes 20 guys to win the hockey game and lately we’ve been doing that.”
Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins, who hadn’t lost at home in regulation since the Montreal Canadiens won 4-3 in Boston on March 3.
Tuukka Rask made 34 saves for Boston, but could not contain a shot by Bailey that hit him in the chest and found its way into the goal to break a 1-1 tie with 6:41 left in the second. It turned out to be the game winner as Nabokov shut down the Bruins the rest of the way.
“I thought the first period was the best first period in a long time,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “The rest of the game, although they were the better team for most of it, I just felt that I could see our guys were trying. We just ran out of gas.”
Seguin scored for the second night in a row for the Bruins. He also scored Wednesday in a 5-4 win at New Jersey after Boston had let a 4-0 lead slip to 4-3. The Bruins came out strong again Thursday with 16 shots in the opening period, but trailed 1-0 after one on Bailey’s goal in the final minute.
Seguin tied it at 1-1 on a power-play goal 3:41 into the second on a one-timer from the side of the net off a pass from Gregory Campbell.
The lead lasted until Bailey added his second goal of the game, putting the Islanders up 2-1 with 6:41 left in the second. Bailey grabbed the puck after a turnover by Adam McQuaid inside the Boston zone and fired a shot that hit Rask and carried through his pads into the net.
“I wasn’t really sure. I just tried to get as much of it as I could,” Bailey said.
Although the Islanders were outshot 16-9 in the first period, New York grabbed a 1-0 lead when Bailey scored with 21 seconds left in the period on a slap shot. Streit had an assist with a nice drop pass after skating the puck from the Islanders’ zone to the Bruins’, setting up Bailey’s one-time blast that beat Rask high to the glove side.
“I thought we had a good period,” Seguin said. “We competed well. We battled and I think it’s just about finding the consistency obviously in the last few weeks.”
NOTES: Seguin’s goal in the second period ended the Islanders’ streak of six straight games without allowing a power-play goal. Jaromir Jagr’s assist on Seguin’s goal in the second was his sixth point in as five games since Boston picked him up in a trade with Dallas. … Although the Bruins have not officially clinched a postseason berth, the club announced Thursday that tickets for the first three playoff games in Boston will go on sale Tuesday. … The Bruins, who beat New Jersey 5-4 on Wednesday, were playing their last back-to-back games of the lockout shortened season. With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Islanders have five more on the road.