Islanders lose to Devils, continue slide in East race

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders lost ground again in the MassMutual East Division with a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday.

Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders (31-17-6), who have lost three in a row (0-2-1) and fell three points behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the division with two games remaining. Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves for the Devils (19-28-7), who have won five of six. 

It was the opener of a two-game set. The teams will play here again Saturday.

Pavel Zacha gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead with a one-timer in front off a pass from Jesper Bratt at 14:11 of the first period. It was Zacha’s sixth goal in seven games.

Beauvillier tied it 1-1 at 5:35 of the second period when Scott Mayfield‘s attempted pass from the right circle redirected in off his skate. Beauvillier has scored seven goals in his past nine games.

Michael McLeod one-timed a cross-ice pass from Damon Severson just inside the right post to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead at 15:31 of the second.

Devils forward Jesper Boqvist left with 1:11 remaining in regulation after being struck in the face by a stick.

It was the first game against the Devils for forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac since being traded to the Islanders on April 7.

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