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Dobson scores go-ahead goal, Islanders beat Blue Jackets 4-2 to keep playoff hopes alive

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Noah Dobson scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New York Islanders stayed alive in their quest for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Pierre Engvall and Bo Horvat scored first-period goals, and Ilya Sorokin stopped 25 shots for the Islanders, who have won three straight and jumped over the Washington Capitals4-1 losers to Pittsburgh on Thursday — and Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff slot with six games left.

The win pulled New York even on points with the Philadelphia Flyers for third in the Metropolitan Division.

“Team effort was really good," Islanders coach Patrick Roy said. "It was a big goal by Noah so I was happy to see him scoring that goal but more than that the way he was playing defensively. He had a strong game defensively.”

Kirill Marchenko had a goal and an assist, and Dmitri Voronkov also scored for Columbus, which had won its last two. Daniil Tarasov stopped 13 shots before leaving game with 2:07 left in the first period after a collision by the net. Jet Greaves made 24 stops in relief.

Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said after the game that he had no update on Tarasov.

The Islanders swept the season series with Columbus, which has already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Engvall slipped the puck past Tarasov with six seconds left on a power play to open the scoring at 7:53 of the first period. Columbus responded with its own power-play goal, when Voronkov tipped in Marchenko’s rebound at 9:45.

“That’s a heavy team,” Vincent said. “Getting the puck back was tough for our guys tonight. Managing the blue lines was a big component of tonight’s game.”

Horvat gave New York the lead with a one-timer from the right circle off a feed from Mathew Barzal. His 31st score of the season extended his goal streak to three games.

Marchenko pulled Columbus even with the help of Sorokin, bouncing the puck off the goalie’s facemask and into the net at 17:22, and extending his goal streak to three games.

Dobson put the Islanders up 3-2 at 17:22 of the third and Kyle Palmieri added the empty-netter with 38 seconds remaining.

“We know each game is a different challenge, and we’ve got to find ways to win each night," Dobson said. "The last couple of games tied games going into the third and we found ways. Definitely a positive.”

UP NEXT

Islanders: Host Nashville Saturday night.

Blue Jackets: Host Philadelphia Saturday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl