Two days after breaking through with their highest scoring burst of the season, the Nashville Predators needed a strong defensive effort to pull out another win and keep rolling.
Viktor Arvidsson scored early in the second period, Jusse Saros stopped 24 shots and the Predators held on to beat the New York Islanders 3-1 Monday night for their fourth straight victory and seventh in the last eight games.
"Our goaltending was great, our team as a whole was great defensively as far as limiting their chances," Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "Our forwards were back pressuring and doing everything they could to win the game. When you get that, it makes our D a lot more comfortable throughout the game."
Nashville was coming off a 7-2 win at home against the Sharks on Saturday night.
"Our defensive side of the game was great the last two games, and if we're going to be successful going forward it's got to be the same way," Ellis said.
Kevin Fiala and Ryan Johansen also scored to help Nashville remain in control of third place in the Central Division, one point ahead of St. Louis — which beat Arizona 4-1.
"We're obviously not in the playoffs yet, we haven't clinched anything," said Johansen, whose empty-netter with 21 seconds left was his 13th goal of the season and 100th of his career. "We're still scratching and clawing ... I like the way we're trending, though."
Josh Bailey scored and Thomas Greiss finished with 28 saves for the Islanders, who remained two points behind Boston for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. New York also fell one point behind Tampa Bay, which beat Chicago 5-4 in overtime.
The Islanders, who have seven games left, have lost six of their last nine overall (3-5-1) and are 0-4-1 in the last five at Barclays Center since earning a point in 11 straight (9-0-2) on home ice.
"Real frustrating one tonight for sure," New York captain John Tavares said. "We've given ourselves a good chance to make the playoffs, put ourselves in a position to be fighting here until the end. We're just disappointed we didn't play well enough, starting with myself, today. It's just not good enough."
Arvidsson made it 2-0 at 3:15 of the second as he deflected a centering pass from Filip Forsberg past Greiss for his 29th, tying him with Forsberg for the team lead. The goal was reviewed but stood after it was determined the puck went off Arvidsson's skate and then his stick before going in.
It was Arvidsson's sixth goal in eight games and Nashville's NHL-leading 95th in the second period this season.
The Islanders were booed midway through the period as they failed to get a good scoring chance on their second power play of the game. New York finished 0 for 2 on the man advantage, falling to 2 for 21 over their last eight games.
Bailey got the Islanders on the board with 2:40 left in the middle period as he deflected a shot by Nick Leddy from the left side down and past Saros. It was Bailey's 13th goal of the season and first in 16 games.
The Predators appeared to take the lead about 8 1/2 minutes into the game when Ellis beat Greiss with a shot that seemed to deflect off an Islanders defender. However, New York interim coach Doug Weight challenged for offside and the goal was waved off after a video review showed Fiala was indeed guilty of the infraction.
Fiala made up for it when he put Nashville ahead at 10:17 by firing a shot from the high slot past Greiss' blocker side for his ninth.
NOTES: Predators C Mike Fisher missed his third straight game due to a lower-body injury. ... D Roman Josi played in his 400th career game, all with Nashville. ... Johansen's goal was his 58th point, keeping him two ahead of Arvidsson for the team lead. ... The teams conclude their two-game season series April 4 at Nashville. ... The Islanders agreed to terms with F John Stevens on a two-year, entry-level contract. The 22-year-old had five goals and 23 assists this past season as a senior at Northeastern and totaled 26 goals and 80 assists in four seasons with the Huskies. ... The Islanders play five of their last seven games on the road, where they are 15-16-5.
Predators: At Boston on Tuesday night.
Islanders: At Philadelphia on Thursday night.
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