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Flames seek to stay in win column vs. Islanders

Feb 27, 2015 - 3:52 PM ( - The Calgary Flames will try to build off a much needed victory when they visit the New York Islanders for Friday's encounter at Nassau Coliseum.

The Flames are locked in a battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but a recent 0-2-1 slide wasn't helping their case. However, Calgary was able to halt the three-game skid on Wednesday, when it posted a 3-1 victory in New Jersey.

The win over the Devils briefly put Calgary in the second wild card spot, but the Minnesota Wild moved a point ahead of the Flames after beating Nashville on Thursday.

The Islanders, meanwhile, are locked at 82 points with the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blueshirts hold the current tiebreaker due to having played two fewer games, but the Isles could move ahead of idle Rangers on Friday.

Sean Monahan scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to lift the Flames to the victory in New Jersey. He gave the Flames a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal 35 seconds into the third period. Mark Giordano jumped up to the right circle and Monahan was in front to direct the puck into the net.

The score remained that way until T.J. Brodie notched an empty-net tally in the final minute.

Curtis Glencross also lit the lamp and Karri Ramo made 26 saves for the win.

"We scored that big goal early in the third and shut them down in the end with our penalty kill," Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said.

The Flames improved to 16-12-1 as the guest this season with Wednesday's win, Tonight's contest marks the third stop on a seven-game trip.

Ramo will start again tonight for Calgary. He is 1-2-0 with a 3.21 goals against average in three lifetime outings against the Islanders.

New York halted a two-game slide in its last trip to the ice, as it used an offensive explosion in the third period to cruise past the visiting Arizona Coyotes, 5-1.

The score was tied at 1-1 after 40 minutes but the Isles tallied four times in the first half of the third period to take control of the contest. Matt Martin snapped the tie at the 3:18 mark and Johnny Boychuk made it a two-goal game less than a minute later.

Kael Mouillierat and Brock Nelson also scored in the third period, while Anders Lee opened the scoring for the Isles just 37 seconds into the second stanza.

Mouillierat's goal was his first NHL tally. It came in the 27-year-old forward's third career game.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Mouillierat said. "You play so long and especially at my age to get my first crack at the NHL, there are times in the minors you think it's never going to happen and when it does, it's a pretty incredible feeling."

Chad Johnson made 27 saves for the victory. Regular No. 1 goaltender Jaroslav Halak is expected to get the start tonight.

The Isles are 22-8-0 as the host this season and are scheduled to complete a four-game homestand tomorrow against Carolina.

New York has won four of the last six meetings against the Flames, including a 2-1 regulation decision in Calgary on Jan. 2. Halak made 22 saves for the victory, while John Tavares scored both goals for the Islanders.

The Flames halted a three-game road skid versus the Isles on Feb. 6 of last season, giving them seven wins in the past 10 meetings at Nassau Coliseum.