VANCOUVER, British Columbia — J.T. Miller scored the only goal in the shootout and the Vancouver Canucks beat the New York Islanders 5-4 Tuesday night to move into a wild-card playoff spot in the tight Western Conference.
Miller, a former Ranger, scored on a wrist shot from the faceoff circle.
“I think in the third, the difference today was we brought another level,” said Miller, who won the game with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle. “I think we have played a lot of the same hockey here for the last six games or so. It’s just nice to come out on top. We are doing a lot of good things.”
The Islanders have 80 points and remain one point behind Carolina and Columbus for the final two wild-card spots in the East.
Brock Nelson had a pair of goals for the Islanders, who are mired in a season-long seven-game winless streak (0-4-3). Andrew Ladd and Jordan Eberle also scored for the Islanders. Derick Brassard had two assists.
It wasn’t a win, but the Islanders were happy to get a point and stay in the playoff hunt.
“You worry about the points you can get,” the Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We put a point on the board. We’ll just have to look at trying to get another point or two the next game. Keep doing that and then look up after 82 games and see were we are.”
The Islanders scored first, let that lead slip away, but fought back to tie the game three times.
“I thought we did a pretty good job a couple times battling back,” said Nelson, who has 26 goals. “We need that right now, especially the way things are going for us.
“It seems like we’re close, but we’ve just got to find that puck or that play to kind of get us over the hump and turn it around.”
Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots.
Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who won for the second time in seven games.
“It’s two desperate teams trying to win games, to make the playoffs,” said Toffoli, who has six goals and four points in the 10 games since being traded to Vancouver from L.os Angeles on Feb. 17.
“We’ve been playing playoff hockey ever since I got here. It’s that time of the year. It was nice to for us to pull through tonight.”
Canuck goaltender Thatcher Demko, who had a career-high 45 saves, came up big several times. He stopped Matthew Barzal and Eberle during an Islanders’ 5-on-3 power play in the first period. In the second, he got a pad on a Barzal shot on a 2-on-1.
“I’m learning a lot through this process,” said Demko, who is playing in place of the injured Jakob Markstrom. “Down the stretch, we are going to have to be really sharp as a group and individually.
“It was a good win tonight.”
Adam Gaudette, Zack MacEwen and Bo Horvart also scored for Vancouver. Defenseman Alex Edler had two assists, giving him 401 NHL points.