Isles score 2 short-handed in win over Rangers
- Article by: IRA PODELL
- Associated Press
- December 20, 2013 - 8:50 PM
NEW YORK — Thomas Vanek snapped a tie with a power-play goal early in the third period, and the New York Islanders earned their first regulation victory in over a month by beating the slumping New York Rangers 5-3 on Friday night.
Vanek scored during a two-man advantage at 1:18 of the third to give the Islanders just their second win in 15 games and first in regulation since Nov. 12 against Nashville. They were 2-10-4 since then.
Cal Clutterbuck scored a short-handed, penalty-shot goal, and Michael Grabner added a short-handed tally in the first period. Defenseman Brian Strait scored in the second, and Grabner added an empty-netter with 50.3 seconds left for the Islanders, who lost a 2-0 lead for the second consecutive game but had four goals for the first time in 15 games.
Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves for the win.
The Rangers got goals from Benoit Pouliot, Derek Dorsett and Derek Stepan, but Henrik Lundqvist stopped only 15 of 19 shots as New York fell to 1-4-2 on its team-record, nine-game homestand.
The Rangers tied it 2-2 just three minutes into the second period when Dorsett's shot from the right-wing boards hit Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey in front and caromed in.
The Rangers then grabbed their first lead of the night, but not before Grabner almost scored his second short-handed goal of the game. Soon after Grabner's drive struck the crossbar, the Rangers cashed in at the other end.
Rick Nash's pass from the boards struck Hickey and caromed to Stepan for a quick shot that produced the power-play goal at 7:58.
However, the Islanders responded with 8:34 left in the second on Strait's first regular-season NHL goal, off a feed from Josh Bailey. Prized prospect Ryan Strome earned his first NHL point in his third game.
The teams combined for three goals in a span of 2:57 late in the first period — all during Rangers power plays, but only one scored by the home team.
With Islanders teammate Andrew MacDonald off for high-sticking, Clutterbuck made it 1-0 when he scored on a questionable penalty shot.
Clutterbuck was awarded the attempt after he got free for a breakaway with defenseman Ryan McDonagh chasing. McDonagh gave a light check with his stick from behind, and that was enough for the penalty shot to be called — much to the dismay of incredulous Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.
Clutterbuck netted his fourth of the season when his shot eluded Lundqvist's glove.
The Rangers went on their third power play of the period 2:27 later, and again the Islanders took advantage.
The puck got past McDonagh at the point, and the speedy Grabner took off alone. He cut from right-to-left and tucked the puck inside the left post behind Lundqvist with 2:51 left in the first.
Grabner had gone 31 games without a goal since he netted two on opening night at New Jersey on Oct. 4.
The Rangers got one back 30 seconds later on that same power play when Pouliot scored from in-close off a pass from Chris Kreider. It was Pouliot's fourth goal.
NOTES: The Islanders have scored a team-record three short-handed goals in a game three times. ... Bailey had gone 12 games without a point. ... Strait scored in last season's playoffs. ... Rangers forward J.T. Miller was in the lineup after being recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Thursday.
© 2017 Star Tribune