Kaapo Kahkonen, Devils take down Islanders 4-0

Jack Hughes collected a goal and an assist in his 300th regular-season game, Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves to snap a personal 11-game losing streak and the New Jersey Devils scored three times in the second period of a 4-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday in Elmont, N.Y.

The Devils (35-33-4, 74 points) won for the third time in four games and pulled them within five points of the Washington Capitals for the second wild-card spot in the East. The Islanders (30-26-15, 75 points) lost for the seventh time in eight games (1-6-1) and trail Washington by four points after snapping a six-game losing streak Saturday.

Hughes started his 19th multi-point game by setting up Timo Meier’s 12th goal this month before adding his 24th goal of the year.

Meier also had an assist and Alexander Holtz scored for the Devils, who survived a scary play involving Nico Hischier. The captain was shaken up after getting kneed by New York’s Anders Lee with about three minutes left in the second but returned for the third period, and Lee was handed a game misconduct for the play.

Kahkonen earned his first win since beating the Los Angeles Kings Jan. 22 for the San Jose Sharks and shined in his third start since being acquired by the Devils at the trade deadline. Kahkonen highlighted his fourth career shutout by making a right pad save on Jean-Gabriel Pageau and a toe save on Pierre Engvall’s rebound try with around eight minutes left in the third.

Chris Tierney added an empty-net goal with 4:07 left in the third.

New York goalie Ilya Sorokin made 26 saves and dropped his sixth straight start.

Meier opened the scoring 38 seconds into the period when he easily moved near the right post and deflected Hughes’ cross-ice feed by Sorokin’s stick during a 5-on-3.

After New York’s Bo Horvat, Noah Dobson and Kyle Palmieri collided with each other in the Islanders’ offensive zone near the blue line, Hughes finished off a 2-on-1 with Meier by burying a shot from the right side by Sorokin.

New Jersey made it 3-0 at 6:12 of the period thanks to another Islanders misplay. New York defenseman Ryan Pulock lost the puck along the boards on the right side and Simon Nemec easily threaded a pass through the slot to Holtz, who scored into the vacated left side of the net.