Kyle Okposo scored twice, including a go-ahead goal in New York's big second period, and rookie goaltender Kevin Poulin stopped 25 shots, leading the Islanders to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.
Okposo's second-period goal gave New York the lead. P.A. Parenteau scored 1 minute later on the power play as the Islanders took command with three goals in the period. Okposo, who also had an assist, scored again in the third.
The 20-year-old Poulin earned his third career win after he was recalled from AHL Bridgeport on Monday. Another New York rookie, Travis Hamonic, tied it at 1 with his first career goal early in the second period.
Freddy Meyer scored in the opening period for Atlanta.
Facing the Islanders, who have the league's second-worst record, the Thrashers couldn't bolster their playoff hopes. Atlanta began the night one point ahead of Carolina in the race for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
New York lost three straight and eight of 10 before the All-Star break. The Islanders had scored no more than two goals in their last six games before breaking out in the second against the Thrashers.
Meyer's first goal of the season gave Atlanta the lead. Meyer scored from behind the net when he pushed the puck off the back of Poulin's right leg.
The Islanders answered when Hamonic beat Ondrej Pavelec from the right circle in the second.
With 3:21 remaining in the period, Okposo scored on a putback after two saves by Pavelec. Atlanta's Niclas Bergfors drew a delay of game penalty shortly after Okposo's goal, setting up Parenteau's power-play shot past defenseman Brent Sopel.
The Thrashers have only five wins in their last 18 games. Atlanta All-Star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was held without a point for the 11th straight game.
The announced attendance was 11,176, but the actual turnout appeared to well below that figure. Atlanta has set two franchise record attendance lows this season: 8,820 against Buffalo on Oct. 20 and 8,461 against Colorado on Nov. 4.
NOTES: Atlanta F Evander Kane returned after missing four games with an upper-body injury. Tobias Enstrom (finger) missed his third straight. ... The Islanders earned only their fifth win in 33 games in which they allowed the first goal. They improved to 5-24-4 after trailing 1-0. ... The Thrashers managed only seven shots on goal in their listless third period. ... Pavelec stopped 29 shots.