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Halak tops Flames to set Islanders’ single-season win record

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Jaroslav Halak set the Islanders’ team record with his 33rd win of the season, and Ryan Strome scored a power-play goal in the first-period to lift New York to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Halak stopped 26 shots, but lost his shutout bid with 20.9 seconds left on Josh Jooris’ goal that cut Calgary’s deficit in half. The Islanders made it 2-0 with 41.3 seconds remaining on Cal Clutterbuck’s empty-net goal.

New York moved two points ahead of the rival Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Karri Ramo stopped 37 shots for the Flames, who without injured leading scorer Mark Giordano missed a chance to move into a wild-card position in the Western Conference playoff race. Ramo’s only blemish was Strome’s early goal, the first power-play tally Calgary has allowed in exactly a month.

Calgary dropped to 1-2 on its seven-game road trip. The Flames lost 1-0 to the Rangers on Tuesday.

The Islanders took a 1-0 lead in a most unusual way, scoring the first power-play goal against the Flames in 14 games.

John Tavares was stopped by Ramo, but the puck came back out front to Strome in the slot for his 14th goal. Calgary had gone a team-record 13 games without allowing a man-advantage goal. The streak of penalty-kills was snapped at 26, dating to Jan. 27 against Buffalo.

Strome has five goals in eight games.

New York had the better of the play in the opening period and held a 15-7 edge in shots, but one of Calgary’s attempts was Michael Ferland’s failed penalty shot after he was impeded on a breakaway by defenseman Johnny Boychuk with 6:20 left.

Both teams had brief flurries in the second, but no goals were scored. Calgary got back to its strong penalty killing and held the Islanders’ power play in check during its second advantage of the first period and the only one they had in the second frame.

New York, which held an 11-8 edge in shots in the second period, began the third short-handed for 1:31. The Islanders killed the penalty despite pressure by the Flames on Halak just before Lubomir Visnovsky left the box.

NOTES: Halak had shared the win record with Billy Smith, Chris Osgood, and Rick DiPietro. … Giordano, the Calgary captain, skated in pregame warmups but sat out because of an upper-body injury sustained in a 3-1 win at New Jersey on Wednesday. Giordano is the NHL’s top-scoring defenseman. … Ferland has no goals in 13 career NHL games. … The Islanders will finish a four-game homestand Saturday vs. Carolina before a four-game trip.

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