Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves for the New York Islanders in a 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Monday.
Mathew Barzal and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Islanders (26-22-5), who have won three straight. Bo Horvat, who was acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 30 and agreed to an eight-year contract on Sunday, had four shots in 19:08 of ice time while playing on the top line with Barzal and Josh Bailey.
“I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous tonight,” Horvat said. “The guys made me feel really comfortable. They were great. Obviously, it feels even better to get that win and get my legs under me.”
Carter Hart made 28 saves, and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for the Flyers (21-22-9), who have lost four of five (1-2-2).
“It was men against boys in the first period,” Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said. “Played better in the second. We had a lot of almost chances. I thought we were a little sloppy offensively. … Just a lot of almost offensively.
“We’re going to find out about some people, when we play some games here, in the checking department. Teams are going to ramp that up. It’s going to be really interesting to see how guys react.”
Video: NYI@PHI: Palmieri nets opening PPG from the circle
Each team was playing its first game since Jan. 28.
“I thought it was an important game for us, get a ‘W’ right off the (All-Star) break,” Varlamov said. “We didn’t play for a week, so I thought we did a lot of good things today, especially in the first period. Overall, I’m very happy with what we’ve done today.”
Palmieri put New York ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal at 17:07 of the first period. He received a pass from Bailey in the left face-off circle and scored with a snap shot off the right post.
The Islanders were 0-for-25 with the man-advantage in their previous 10 games.
“We knew what type of matchup it was,” Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk said. “Obviously, I think the start of the game wasn’t what we needed, but I think we did some good things as the game went along. Obviously, came up short. Not good enough.”
Barzal made it 2-0 at 8:18 of the second period. Brock Nelson won a puck battle in the corner and passed to Noah Dobson, whose backdoor feed was redirected in by Barzal.
“We’re right there. The win tonight really helped,” Barzal said. “We’re just excited to try to make a push. We want to be in the playoffs, so that’s really the mindset now. Just every game is a playoff game.”
Video: NYI@PHI: Barzal redirects the puck in to extend lead
Deslauriers cut it to 2-1 at 10:39, redirecting a point shot from Tony DeAngelo.
“I thought we had good opportunities when it was 2-0 to make it 3-0, and we didn’t capitalize on it,” New York coach Lane Lambert said. “Then they scored one. At the end of the day, it’s the scoreboard that counts, and I thought we did a really good job of defending, especially toward the end.”
Scott Laughton had a chance to tie it at 5:36 of the third period after skating around Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield, but his shot from the edge of the right circle was gloved by Varlamov.
“We’ve played them a lot over the years here,” Hart said. “They’ve got a lot of returning guys from over the years. They play a hard game. They play to their system really well, and that works for them, but tight game tonight.”
NOTES: Palmieri has six points (one goal, five assists) on a five-game point streak. … Dobson and Islanders forward Hudson Fasching each returned from a lower-body injury. Dobson, who missed four games, had one assist in 16:34 of ice time. Fasching, who missed six games, had one shot and one hit in 9:13.