Defenseman Dan Girardi scored 3:11 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a stirring 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night in a game that felt every bit like a playoff matchup between the area rivals.
Henrik Lundqvist and Islanders counterpart Evgeni Nabokov staged a classic goalie duel that seemed destined to go to a shootout, but Girardi finished off a rush by flipping a shot over Nabokov's shoulder for just his second goal of the season.
The Rangers are eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, one point behind the Islanders. The Rangers lead ninth-place Winnipeg by two points with seven games remaining -- one more than the Jets. The Islanders have six games remaining, but only one more at home before they finish on a five-game trip they hope will end in their first playoff berth since 2007.
Lundqvist finished with 29 saves for his first shutout of the season. Nabokov stopped 19 shots.
The Rangers are 5-1-1 in their last seven. The Islanders, ...