UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Yann Danis helped make his case for next year. So did a lot of his teammates.
Danis stopped 40 shots to help the young and rebuilding New York Islanders beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 Sunday.
The Islanders got goals from Jeff Tambellini, Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo to win their second straight at Nassau Coliseum, where they are 9-2-2 in their last 13 games.
“At this point, we’re all fighting for a spot here next year,” Danis said. “We’re trying to play like this every game.”
Scottie Upshall and Shane Doan had goals for the Coyotes, who have lost five of six.
Rookie goaltender Josh Tordjman made his NHL debut for Phoenix and stopped 23 shots. He was called up from San Antonio on Wednesday.
“I was having dinner last night, and they called me to tell me,” Tordjman said of his starting assignment. “I called my parents, then spent the rest of the time thinking about the first drop of the puck.”
The Islanders killed off seven power plays, including a double-minor and a pair of two-man advantages.
“We didn’t capitalize on either five-on-three,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “I believe you should score on every five-on-three situation.”
Phoenix took a 1-0 lead four minutes into the game, when Upshall finished a rush by taking Matthew Lombardi’s pass all alone on the left side and beating Danis from in close at 15:50.
Tambellini tied the game at 2:44 of the second when he banged home a rebound before the Coyotes could sweep the puck out of harm’s way. Tambellini only has five goals this season, but he’s scored three in his last four games.
The Islanders moved ahead 2-1 when Bailey put home Mike Iggulden’s wrist shot at 9:18 and New York went up by two with 36.8 seconds left in the period when Okposo sent a wrist shot past Tordjman.
“Our work ethic is there,” Bailey said of his team’s recent solid play. “We’re working hard, and we’re putting on back pressure. It also helps that we have great goaltending and a great defence.”
Okposo tied for the team lead at 14 goals, with Sean Bergenheim and the injured Trent Hunter.
Matthew Lombardi thought he had a goal for the Coyotes with 5:23 to play, but video review ruled the net was knocked off its moorings just before the puck crossed the goal-line.
The Coyotes scored with 18.6 seconds left in the game, when Doan banged in a rebound.
Notes: New York recalled F Kurtis McLean from Bridgeport. … The Coyotes are on game three of a five-game road trip. Stops in Detroit and New Jersey wrap up the journey. … The Islanders are in danger of having no player with 20 goals for the first time in the franchise’s 37 seasons.