Islanders score 3 goals in 1st period en route to 4-2 win over Rangers. Zibanejad leaves with injury

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

NEW YORK -- - Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist, Noah Dobson added two assists and the New York Islanders used a three-goal first period to propel them to a 4-2 win against the Eastern-Conference leading New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Semyon Varlamov finished with 32 saves, Mike Reilly, Kyle Palmieri and Anders Lee also scored goals and the Islanders extended their winning streak to five games, inching closer to a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's great, this is the type of hockey you want to be playing at this time of the year," Horvat said. "They're a great team, they're a rival here and I'm a New York Islander. I think I'm supposed to hate them. It's always fun playing against them. Obviously feels way better when you get the wins."

Chris Kreider and Long Island native Adam Fox scored power-play goals for the Rangers, and Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves, but the Rangers' three-game winning streak ended.

Mika Zibanejad left the game in the third period following a collision with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech and did not return to action.

"He came back at the end," Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said referring to Zibanejad returning to the bench but not to the ice. "From that vicious hit. Yeah, he came back. That vicious shoulder/elbow to the head. Watch it."

Islanders bench boss Patrick Roy had a different interpretation of the play,

"I don't know why we're talking about this, quite honestly," Roy said. "I'm a little surprised because it was clear in my mind that it was accidental."

The Islanders offense erupted in the first period, scoring three times in 9:26.

Reilly tossed a shot from the half wall toward the net and the puck deflected off Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren and past Shesterkin at 4:12. Mathew Barzal drove to the net, which created chaos in front of Shesterkin and led to the redirection.

Horvat doubled the Islanders lead when he deflected Dobson's shot at 11:47.

Palmieri capped the first period with his 27th goal of the season. Brock Nelson fired a shot wide but retrieved his own rebound and set up Palmieri for the tap-in at 13:38.

"We worked tonight, we were ready to play," Lee said. "We had our legs and got to it right away. We put the puck behind them and played simple hockey in the first 20 minutes."

Barzal was awarded a penalty shot in the opening minutes of the first period but did not score.

The Rangers had three power-play chances in the second period and connected on two.

"We came out and played really strong in the first, we were unbelievable," Varlamov said. "Then all of a sudden, we start spending a lot of time in our D-zone and give them momentum."

Kreider redirected a shot from Panarin for the first goal and Fox sent a puck through traffic to cut the Islanders lead to 3-2. Kreider left the game briefly in the first period after he was clipped with a one-time blast from Zibanejad, but returned.

Panarin registered his 70th assist and became the second player in team history with multiple 70-assist seasons. Brian Leetch did it three times.

Dobson became the second defenseman in Islanders history to record 60 assists in a season, joining Denis Potivin, who accomplished the feat four times.

Lee added an empty-net goal in the final seconds.


Rangers: Host Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

Islanders: Host Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.



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