Brendan Witt posted his first two-goal game in the NHL, veteran forward Doug Weight added two assists and the New York Islanders stretched their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.
Witt, a defenseman in his 14th NHL season, scored his first two goals of the season in the second period. He has netted only 25 in his 862-game career and had gone 92 contests since his previous goal on Jan. 22, 2008, at Carolina.
Weight, New York's 38-year-old captain, helped set up rookie John Tavares' first-period goal that lifted the Islanders into a 1-all tie and earned another assist on Witt's second that made it 3-1.
New York lost its first six games of the season (0-3-3) but has gone 5-1-2 since to get into shouting range of the rest of the Atlantic Division. Former Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson, in his first season with the Islanders, made 22 saves to improve to 4-0-1 in his past five starts.
Witt scored from an odd angle along the left wing boards when he flipped a puck that found its way through a maze and past Nikolai Khabibulin 2:32 into the second. He punctuated that goal with a fist pump and then struck again at 12:35 with a shot from just inside the blue line.
The flu-ridden Oilers (7-7-1) managed to grab an early lead when Ethan Moreau scored his second of the season, but they couldn't sustain the momentum. Edmonton has lost five of six overall and has dropped five straight on the road.
Khabibulin stopped 34 shots, but lost for the third time in four games. He has played in 13 of Edmonton's 15 games.
The Oilers have been struggling for offense, having been shut out in three of four previous games. But they got off to a quick start when Moreau, from behind the net, bounced a puck in off Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek's skate with 8:58 left in the first.
Tavares got that one back 3:49 later off a crisp feed from Matt Moulson. After the Oilers turned over the puck behind their net, Moulson found Tavares gliding unchecked down the slot for a one-timer.
Tavares, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, is beginning to live up to his hype. The 19-year-old forward has five goals and 11 points in 14 games.
The Islanders played a solid, disciplined game. Andy Sutton fought charging Edmonton forward Jean-Francois Jacques in the first period. Jacques was called for instigating in retaliation for Sutton's hard, clean check on Tom Gilbert.
Sutton's major was the only Islanders penalty until Kyle Okposo went off for roughing in the final minute.
New York was 0 for 4 on the power play. Edmonton had no man-advantages.
NOTES: Witt has three other two-point games in the NHL. This was the first since March 26, 2002, at Buffalo while with Washington. His career high for goals in a season is three, accomplished three times. ... The only non-shutout loss in Edmonton's previous four games was a 6-5 shootout victory over Detroit last Thursday. ... Former Islanders C Mike Comrie sat out for the fifth time in six games because of the flu. At least five Edmonton players have been sick recently. ... The Oilers hadn't played on Long Island since Dec. 10, 2005. They haven't won there since Dec. 14, 1999.