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Islanders ease past Coyotes 6-1
Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - John Tavares scored his first two goals of the season and Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves to carry the New York Islanders past the Phoenix Coyotes, 6-1, at Nassau Coliseum.
Josh Bailey recorded three points with a goal and two assists while Peter Regin scored and assisted on Matt Donovan's tally as New York bounced back from a shootout loss to the Blue Jackets in its home opener on Saturday.
"If you can keep a lead in the third period, that's pretty spectacular. Obviously we didn't do it last game, I think the mind set tonight was to keep coming after them, and we did. I think everyone was pretty good," Tavares said.
Martin Hanzal had the lone goal for the Coyotes, who have been outscored 10-2 in two games since defeating the Rangers in their season opener.
"As a professional athlete we never want to be embarrassed. There has to be some accountability in the locker room. This is not acceptable," said Coyotes winger Shane Doan
Mike Smith, who took the loss in a 4-1 setback at San Jose on Saturday, surrendered five goals on 20 shots and was pulled at the start of the third period. Thomas Greiss made seven saves in relief.
Smith's forgettable showing started early. Less than two minutes in, Regin took Brock Nelson's pass along the boards near the blueline, skated in unabated and beat Smith glove-side for his first goal as an Islander.
The hosts cashed in on a 5-on-3 advantage at the 15:07 mark of the opening period. The extra space allowed for easy passing lanes, and Tavares finished off Frans Nielsen's cross-crease feed from the left doorstep.
New York, which blew a 2-0 lead against Columbus, avoided another letdown by adding three more goals in the second period.
Donovan lit the lamp on the power play at the 11:47 mark as his point shot trickled through Smith's pads and across the goal line for his first NHL goal.
The Coyotes got on the board when Hanzal's screened shot from between the circles caught Nabokov off guard with 7 1/2 minutes left in the frame, but New York regained the three-goal difference just 2:19 later after Tavares' pass deflected off a defenseman's stick and into the back of the net.
Colin McDonald capped New York's flurry with a low snap shot, and a give-and- go between Nielsen and Bailey resulted in the only goal of the final period.
Smith came in 3-0 with a 1.00 goals against average against the Islanders ... Nielsen and Michael Grabner both had three assists for New York ... The Islanders were hosting the Coyotes for the first time since Dec. 18, 2010.
10/08 23:42:55 ET
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