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Isles nab big win

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NEW YORK—Disappointed by a bad loss in the last game, New York Islanders’ coach Jack Capuano singled out some players he said “needed to play better.”

The Islanders then went out and got a crucial win in their playoff push.

John Tavares got his 30th goal and two assists, and New York scored three times in a 5:15 span of the second period to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 last night.

On Saturday, the Islanders lost 5-0 at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“We were embarrassed by it,” Tavares said.

“We knew it was a big two points [tonight] and we played our type of game,” he added.

“We really liked the way we responded and now we got to carry it over tomorrow [at Washington].”

Ryan Pulock, Matt Martin, Brock Nelson, and Johnny Boychuk also scored for the Islanders while Thomas Greiss had 32 saves.

New York holds the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, and won for the third time in four games to reduce its magic number to two over Boston to secure a third-straight post-season berth.

The Islanders also remained two points behind the crosstown-rival N.Y. Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division, with the teams meeting Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, dropped four points behind first-place Florida in the Atlantic Division after the Panthers’ 4-3 win at Toronto last night.

The Lightning’s magic number for their third-consecutive playoff berth remained at one.

The Lightning were without star Steven Stamkos, who had surgery to remove a blood clot from near his right collarbone yesteray and is expected to miss one-three months.

Elsewhere in the NHL, Vancouver beat L.A. 3-2, the N.Y. Rangers doubled Columbus 4-2, and St. Louis dumped Arizona 5-2.

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