BOSTON (AP) — Josh Bailey scored twice and the New York Islanders added another big win in their surge toward the playoffs by beating the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Thursday night.
The Islanders, seeking their first trip to the postseason in seven years, improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games.
New York, the seventh-place team in the Eastern Conference, kept pace with sixth-place Ottawa, which won at Philadelphia. Both teams have 46 points, two more than the eighth-place New York Rangers, who were idle.
The Bruins fell to 5-2 in their last seven games one night after moving into second place in the East with a 5-4 win at New Jersey.
Bailey’s fourth goal in six games and ninth of the season snapped a 1-1 tie at 13:12 of the second period. Tyler Seguin had tied it for Boston earlier in the period.
The Bruins played without leading goal scorer Brad Marchand, who sat out because of a mild concussion. He was hurt Wednesday when he was elbowed in the head by Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. The NHL suspended Volchenkov on Thursday for four games.
Boston already was without center Patrice Bergeron, who missed his fifth game and is out indefinitely with a concussion.
The absence of two of Boston’s top scorers helped the Islanders allow two or fewer goals for the ninth time in 10 games as Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 shots. They have given up only 15 goals in that span.
Bailey scored the first goal of the game with 21 seconds left in the opening period with a slap shot from the top of the left circle that sailed over goalie Tuukka Rask’s right arm. The Islanders had gained the puck in the right corner of their zone. Mark Streit carried it into Boston’s zone and dropped it to the trailing Bailey for the shot.
The Bruins’ poor power play finally produced when Seguin scored his 14th goal at 3:41 of the second period after Brad Boyes was penalized for delay of game. Boston is ranked 24th in the NHL on power plays, but Seguin scored easily when he took a pass across the crease from Gregory Campbell and shot into the open left side of the net.
Less than 10 minutes later, Bailey scored the deciding goal at 13:12 when Boston lost the puck. Bailey he carried it up the left side, and his 30-foot shot hit Rask in the chest but puck trickled in.
NOTES: Boston is 14-3-2 at home. ... Islanders defenseman Streit left the ice and went to the dressing room midway through the third period after apparently getting hit in the face. ... The Bruins won the season series 2-1. ... New York allowed its first power-play goal in seven games.