Matt Barzal scored and notched a pair of assists as the New York Islanders handed the struggling Vancouver Canucks a 6-2 loss on Tuesday.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice, including a short-handed, empty-net strike late in the third period.
Aatu Raty, Anders Lee and Casey Cizikas also had goals for the Isles (22-15-2), who are in the midst of a four-game road trip.
The Canucks (16-18-2) got a pair of goals from Bo Horvat as they dropped their third game in a row.
New York’s Ilya Sorokin stopped 24-of-26 shots to collect his 14th win of the campaign. Spencer Martin made 23 saves for Vancouver.
Defensive mistakes have plagued the Canucks this season and the result marked the 16th time in 37 games that the team has given up at least five goals.
Boos rained down as the final horn sounded and Vancouver fell to 7-10-1 at home this season.
"WOOHOO." – Barzal, probably. pic.twitter.com/eu0nVn1jyR
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 4, 2023
The Canucks had a prime opportunity to claw back a goal with just over two minutes left in the game when Scott Mayfield was called for tripping. Head coach Bruce Boudreau pulled Martin in favour of an extra attacker, but it was the Isles who scored, with Pageau sending a long shot into the yawning net with 2:09 left on the clock.
Cizikas put away his third goal of the season 9:44 into the third, blasting a wrist shot over Martin’s glove from the faceoff dot.
Rookie Parker Wotherspoon — who’s from Surrey, and grew up a Canucks fan — assisted on the play, marking his first NHL point.
The Islanders regained a two-goal cushion 1:46 into the final frame after Vancouver’s Ethan Bear turned the puck over deep in Canucks’ territory.
Brock Nelson picked it up, spun to keep it on his stick, then sent it to Lee, who sent a wrist shot in past Martin to make it 4-2 with his 14th goal of the season.
Vancouver cut its deficit to a single goal late in the second with a power-play goal after New York’s Matt Martin was called for hooking.
Seconds into the man advantage, J.T. Miller sliced a pass to Horvat in the slot and he blasted a shot past Sorokin to make it 3-2 with his 28th goal of the season.
Both Vancouver and New York went 1-for-2 on the power play.
Another ugly giveaway quickly turned into an Islanders goal midway through the second period.
Defenceman Tyler Myers coughed up the puck in the corner and Barzal took advantage, sailing a shot into the top corner of the net to make it 3-1 for the visitors at the 16:28 mark.
The tally — his 10th of the season — extended the centre’s goal streak to four games. He has five goals across the stretch.
Pageau gave New York the lead with a power-play goal 12:56 into the middle frame after Myers was sent to the box for slashing.
Ryan Pulock saw his long-range slap shot stopped by Martin but Pageau collected the rebound in front of the net and slid a shot between the Canucks netminder and the post.
Raty drew the Isles even 2:26 into the second, sending a shot over Martin’s right pad from the low slot. The goal was the Finnish rookie’s second of the season.
New York was inches away from knotting the score in the final minute of the first.
Zach Parise fired a wrist shot from the bottom of the slot, only to see Martin sprawl across the crease for a right-pad save.
Vancouver opened the scoring 18:23 into the game after Oliver Ekman-Larsson launched a long bomb from inside the blue line. Stationed in the faceoff circle, Horvat tipped it in past Sorokin for his first goal of the night.
The Canucks captain is tied with Alex Ovechkin for the third most goals in the league. They trail Buffalo’s Tage Thompson (30) and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (32).
Barzal, who hails from the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, has found the scoresheet in all 10 of his career matchups against the Canucks, amassing 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) against his hometown team.
Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn played his 900th regular-season NHL game. The 33-year-old from Saskatoon set another milestone in early December when he delivered his 2,947th hit — the most by a defenceman since the league started tracking the stat back in 2005-06.
Canucks: Host the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Islanders: Continue a four-game road trip Thursday in Edmonton.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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