New York Islanders left wing Matt Moulson (26) reacts to fans as he leaves the ice with Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) and goalie Kevin Poulin (60) after the Islanders 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets
Frans Nielsen scored the go-ahead goal and Kevin Poulin made 23 saves for his first win of the season and the New York Islanders defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Tuesday.
With the victory, the Islanders moved past the idle New York Rangers into the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Islanders (18-16-3) have 11 games remaining while the Rangers have 13.
Both the Islanders and New Jersey Devils have 39 points. The Rangers have 37.
Nielsen's power-play goal at 19:32 of the second period came when a rebound of a Mark Streit slap shot ricocheted to him in the right circle. Nielsen fired the puck past Ondrej Pavelec for this fourth of the season.
Matt Moulson added his 12th of the season at the 18:00 mark of the third. And John Tavares scored his team-leading 23rd of the season into an empty net with 36 seconds left.
The Jets (18-18-2) lost their fourth straight, but still lead the Southeast Division over the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals. Winnipeg lost Monday night to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Poulin was making his third start of the season to give a rest to Evgeni Nabokov, who has started all but six of the team's 37 games. The 22-year-old Poulin has been the backup to Nabokov since his recall from AHL Bridgeport on Feb. 23.
His best save was a sprawling stop on an Alexander Burmistrov shot in the closing seconds.
Islanders center Anders Lee opening the scoring in his NHL debut at 16:31 of the first period when his wrist shot eluded a screened Pavelec.
The 22-year-old Lee signed with the Islanders on Monday after completing a stellar college career at Notre Dame where he was team captain.
A sixth-round pick by the Islanders in 2009, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lee led the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in goals (20) and points (38) this season.
Jets rookie defenseman Paul Postma tied the game at 1 at 18:06, banging a rebound past Poulin with assists to Eric Tangradi and Kyle Wellwood.
Postma, a seventh-round pick by Jets' former incarnation — the Atlanta Thrashers — in 2007, scored his second of the game and third of the season at 6:02 of the second.
Colin McDonald tied the score at 2 at 9:56 of the second when he tapped in a rebound for his seventh of the season.
The Islanders, who are 11-5-1 on the road, won for just the seventh time in 20 home games (7-11-2). Seven of their remaining 11 games are on the road. They haven't reached the postseason since 2007.
The Islanders are 17-2-2 when scoring at least three goals and 1-14-1 when scoring two or fewer.
This was the second meeting between the teams this season. The Jets won 5-4 in overtime at home on Jan. 27. They meet again April 20 in Winnipeg.