Casey Cizikas scored a lucky early goal, Jaroslav Halak had 27 saves and the New York Islanders opened a season-long, seven-game trip with a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Halak was outstanding and had a little help from the post while getting his third shutout. Reid Boucher's 1-on-1 chance in the first period hit iron, but Halak also made great saves in close against Sergey Kalinin, Kyle Palmieri and Lee Stempniak, the last one a pad save early in the third period when the Devils' forward had a seemingly open net.
The Islanders are in third place in the Metropolitan Division, four points ahead of the fifth-place Devils with two games in hand.
Cory Schneider made 23 saves and the Devils lost their second straight.
The win was the Islanders third in four games (3-0-1) with the Devils this season, and New York really shut things down in the third period, limiting the Devils to seven shots.
Defenseman Adam Larsson and center Jacob Josefson had the last two in the closing 2 minutes, when New Jersey killed off a penalty to Adam Henrique.
Halak was 1-4 in his last five starts and was lifted twice but had no problem handling the Devils for his 39th career shutout.
Coming off a poor performance in an overtime loss to the Capitals on Thursday night, the Islanders needed less than 2 minutes take the lead.
Defenseman Nick Leddy, who had a goal and nine assists in his previous 10 games, took a shot from the left circle on a counterattack. The puck rebounded in front between the circles and caromed off Cizikas' pants and fluttered into the net for his sixth goal.
The play was reviewed and the goal was upheld.
New York had a chance to break the game open in the final 5 minutes of the second period when Devils forward Jordin Tootoo drew a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for cross-checking defenseman Johnny Boychuk behind the Islanders net.
Boychuk returned for the third period.
The Devils, however, were outstanding on the penalty kill and limited New York to a long shot by John Tavares, leaving them only a goal behind entering the third period.
The loss was tough for the Devils, who have to travel to Washington to play the Capitals on Saturday. New Jersey is now 8-4-2 in its last 14.
NOTES: The Devils placed F Stefan Matteau (facial fracture) on injured reserve, retroactive to February 12. ... The Islanders won't play again until Tuesday night in Minnesota. ... Devils D Jon Merrill returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with an arm injury. ... Islanders D Calvin de Haan missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Devils captain Andy Greene played in his 288th consecutive game and tied Aaron Broten for the team's sixth longest streak.