The New York Islanders were a step slow and gave up an early goal — not the best way to start the second game of a back-to-back.
Once the Islanders scored, they started buzzing and rolled to their second win in two nights.
Robin Lehner stopped 35 shots, Anthony Beauvillier scored his fourth goal in five games and the Islanders beat the struggling Arizona Coyotes 3-1 Tuesday night.
“They came out really well, I think they were the better team the first 10 minutes,” Lehner said. “After that goal, after 10 minutes we started playing better.”
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The Islanders beat Colorado 4-1 the night before, yet had more jump after Arizona scored the opening goal.
Arizona’s Mario Kempe scored in the first period, but Joshua Ho-Sang answered and Brock Nelson put New York ahead with a goal early in the second.
Beauvillier made it a two-goal lead and Ryan Pulock had two assists for the Islanders, who withstood a late power play to win their third straight.
“It’s big on the road like that, a couple good teams, to get those wins is important to us,” Pulock said. “We knew we had to buckle down and be a little better, and these two games we’ve done a pretty good job.”
Arizona had the early jump and finished strong, yet came away with another loss thanks to a shaky second period.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots for the Coyotes in their sixth loss in seven games since a four-game winning streak.
“The goals they got, it’s just execution, a couple bad passes,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “In this league, you have to be able to make an 18-foot pass and we didn’t.”
Kempe scored by carrying the puck into New York’s zone, circling back and beating Lehner glove side on a shot through traffic.
Lehner prevented it from being 2-0 Arizona later in the period with a sprawling save on Conor Garland’s rebound attempt after stopping Clayton Keller’s initial shot.
Ho-Sang scored shortly after a crisp power play expired in the first period, slipping in a loose puck from a sharp angle past Kuemper for his first of the season.
Nelson, who was injured against Colorado on Monday night, put the Islanders up 2-1 in the second by gathering a loose puck and beating Kuemper from between the circles.
Beauvillier made it 3-1 midway through the second, one-timing a pass from Josh Bailey after Arizona turned the puck over in its own end.
“A 1-1 game going into the second and you leave it 3-1, that was definitely the difference,” Kuemper said. “Guys are working hard and that’s all you can ask. Mistakes are going to happen and right now they seem to be costing us.”
NOTES: Arizona plays at New York on March 24 to complete the season series. … Islanders D Thomas Hickey did not play after going hard into the boards with his back against Colorado. … Coyotes RW Vinnie Hinostroza (lower body) and C Christian Dvorak (upper) have resumed skating, but are not ready to return.
The Islanders play at Vegas on Thursday.
Arizona hosts Montreal on Thursday.