Vanek's power-play goal lifts Islanders over Rangers

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 21, 2014
Thomas Vanek scored a power-play goal with 4:38 left, and the New York Islanders rallied from two goals down for a second straight day and beat the New York Rangers 5-3 on Tuesday night. Vanek capped the comeback as the Rangers were trying to kill a penalty for too many men on the ice. Colin McDonald and defenseman Thomas Hickey scored in the second period to get the Islanders even. Matt Martin scored a rare goal in the first, and Frans Nielsen added an empty-netter. Kevin Poulin made 30 saves in the Islanders' ninth win in their past 11 road games. John Tavares had three assists and Kyle Okposo added two in front of a nearly full crowd on a snowy night in New York. Rick Nash scored twice in the first period for his second straight multigoal game, and Chris Kreider added a goal for the Rangers, who had won three in a row. Cam Talbot made 32 saves while subbing for Henrik Lundqvist, who missed the game due to illness. It was the first time in eight games the Rangers allowed at least three goals. The Rangers pressed hard in the final minute after Talbot was pulled for an extra skater, but couldn't tie it. The Islanders have won two of the first three meetings against the Rangers. The teams will play twice more before the end of January, including next week outdoors at Yankee Stadium. Unlike Monday in a 4-3 shootout win at home over Philadelphia, the Islanders didn't wait until the third period to tie it. After Kreider restored the Rangers' two-goal lead at 9:34 of the second with a power-play goal, Hickey began the comeback with his fourth of the season off a perfect feed from Okposo from behind the net with 6:38 left in the period. Just 3:14 later, McDonald got to a rebound off a hard shot by Tavares and fired a drive that beat Talbot for his fourth of the season, Kreider scored when he swept in a loose puck from the crease after Derek Stepan's drive hit the left post and then Poulin. For the second straight game, Nash struck quickly and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Nash took a pass from behind the net from Kreider and wristed a shot past Poulin at 1:02 -- 8 seconds faster than Sunday when he put New York in front against Washington. The Islanders put lots of pressure on the Rangers in their end, but couldn't get a shot past Talbot. When Okposo failed to cleanly handle a pass near the right circle, Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi spotted Nash alone at center ice and sent a pass to him. Nash received the puck with his back to the Islanders net, and quickly turned up ice and came in on a breakaway. Nash shifted the puck several times on his stick before sliding a shot in at 11:07 for his 16th of the season, fifth in three games, and ninth in nine games. The Islanders got one back with 2:38 left in the first when Martin took a feed in the slot from Tavares and one-timed a shot for his third of the season. NOTES: Martin went 38 games without a goal, dating to Nov. 1 at Ottawa. Hickey netted his first in 12 games, dating to Dec. 29 at Minnesota. ... Nash netted the winning goal in the previous four games in which he scored. ... The Rangers signed G David Leneveu to back up Talbot. ... By coincidence, it was Scarf Night at Madison Square Garden.
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