UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Anders Lee scored twice, Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves and the New York Islanders won their second straight at Nassau Coliseum, beating the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Sunday night.
Defenseman Devon Toews also scored to help the Islanders move within a point of idle Philadelphia for third place in the tightly contested Metropolitan Division. The reeling Sharks lost their fourth straight.
Varlamov also played Friday night when the Islanders downed the Detroit Red Wings to snap a four-game losing streak. Varlamov is 19-12-4 this season, his first with the Islanders.
Lee, the Islanders captain, opened the scoring at 6:49 of the first, beating Sharks netminder Martin Jones. Linemates Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle assisted.
San Jose’s Dylan Gambrell tied it his fifth goal of the campaign at 10:36 of the opening period. Radim Simek and Timo Meier had assists.
Lee scored again at 1:10 of the second period, his 19th goal this season. Toews and Barzal assisted. Barzal leads the Islanders with 52 points and needs one point to reach 200 in his career.
It was the first two-goal game this season for the 29-year-old Lee, who scored 28 goals last season and netted 40 goals in 2017-18. Lee replaced John Tavares as captain before last season, then signed a seven-year, $49 million contract last July.
Toews scored to make it 3-1 at 17:38 of the middle period, his sixth goal this season. Brock Nelson assisted. Josh Bailey added an empty-net goal.
The Islanders ended their losing streak with a 4-1 win over Detroit after the team retired former star John Tonelli’s No. 27 and used the pregame energy to secure a much-needed win. They had scored only two goals in losing four straight road contests against Nashville, Vegas, Arizona and Colorado.
The struggling Sharks were coming off 3-2 loss to Rangers on Saturday and had also lost 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils in Newark last Thursday. San Jose continues its east coast journey at Philadelphia on Tuesday, a day after the league’s trade deadline. The Sharks (26-32-4) have only missed the playoffs once since 2003. That was in 2014-15.
The Islanders are 13-7-1 at Nassau Coliseum this season and 7-0-3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Islanders play four of their next six games at home (three on Long Island and one in Brooklyn) after which they will play nine of 12 games on the road.
NOTES: The Islanders scratched defenseman Noah Dobson and forwards Derick Brassard and Ross Johnston … The Islanders continued to be without injured forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas and defenseman Adam Pelech … The Sharks scratched forwards Antti Suomela and Melker Karlsson plus defenseman Nicholas Meloche … The Sharks won the team’s previous meeting this season, 2-1 in overtime on Nov. 23 in San Jose … The Islanders are 23-7-3 when scoring first …The Islanders are 31-2-3 this season when scoring at least three goals.
Islanders: Host New York Rangers at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Sharks: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.