“Reto was simply outstanding. He was the guy who kept us in the game and gave us a chance,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “He made big saves early and gave us a chance. Then we started skating better and executing better.”
Mikael Backlund added an empty-net goal for the Flames, his 14th of the season.
The 27-year-old Berra, who will join Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller with Switzerland’s team at the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, improved to 8-15-2 and won for the first time in regulation.
Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman scored in the second period to put Calgary ahead 2-0. But the Islanders rallied to tie it on goals by defensemen Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan.
The Islanders went on the power play with three minutes left when Jiri Hudler was called for hooking but couldn’t muster much of an attack.
Monahan’s team-leading 16th goal opened the scoring at 14:15 of the second when he wristed a loose puck from outside the crease over Nabokov’s left shoulder. The 19-year-old rookie center was the sixth overall pick by the Flames in last June’s draft.
Wideman made it 2-0 at 18:08 with a snapshot from the slot, his fourth of the season.
Hickey cut the deficit in half at 19:53 of the second, snapping the puck past Berra for his fourth of the season.
It was the first point in five games for Tavares, who is second in league scoring with 23 goals and 42 assists, 12 points behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. The loss left Tavares exasperated once again.
“We seem to find more way to lose than win,” he said.
The Flames had only 22 shots but made them count. Calgary (22-28-7) finishes its road trip with a visit to Philadelphia on Saturday before the Olympic break. Calgary swept a five-game homestand before losing at Montreal 2-0 on Tuesday.