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Islanders hold off Devils for eighth consecutive victory

Kieffer Bellows scored his first two goals of the season early in the third period and the Islanders rallied to beat the Devils 3-2 on Saturday at Prudential Center for their eighth straight victory.

Oliver Walhstrom also scored and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves to help the East-leading Islanders extend their points streak to 11 games (10-0-1).

The winning streak is the longest for the Islanders since they won 10 in a row last season. The team record is 15 in early 1982.

Pavel Zacha and Janne Kuokkanen scored for the Devils, who have lost 10 straight at home. Mackenzie Blackwood made 26 saves for the Devils.

With the Islanders down 2-1 entering the third period, Bellows tied it at 1:59, taking a pass from Mathew Barzal and beating Blackwood from between the circles.

Bellows, who was playing in his first NHL game since Feb. 18 and only his ninth of the season, put the Islanders ahead at 5:10 with a power move cutting in from the right circle and beating Blackwood in close.

Kieffer Bellows (20) scores one of his two goals on Mackenzie Blackwood during the Islanders' 3-2 win over the Devils.
Kieffer Bellows (20) scores one of his two goals on Mackenzie Blackwood during the Islanders’ 3-2 win over the Devils.
AP

Bellows got in the lineup because of a lower-body injury to Islanders’ captain Anders Lee. Coach Barry Trotz placed the former first-round pick on his top line with Barzal and Jordan Eberle and it paid off.

Zacha gave the Devils the lead early in the first period and Walhstrom tied it later in the period with a blistering shot on a rush.

Kuokkanen gave the Devils the lead at 1:04 of the second period, diving to poke a rebound into an open net. He has goals in three straight.

The teams are back in Newark late Sunday afternoon for their third straight game against each other.


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