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Playoffs Rising: Islanders Beat Rangers For 5th Straight Win

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ELMONT, NY– As usual, a matchup between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers wasn’t without drama and it didn’t take long for it to manifest. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 4-2 on Tuesday night at UBS Arena to pick up their fifth straight win.

Mathew Barzal was awarded a penalty shot just a minute and a half into the first period after being hooked on a breakaway by Rangers defenseman Adam Fox.

Although the attempt was stopped by Igor Shesterkin, it set the stage for the rest of the evening.

The Islanders did still score first, courtesy of Mike Reilly’s sixth goal of the season at 4:12 of the opening frame.

After winning an offensive zone draw, Bo Horvat kicked the puck back to Reilly, whose shot from along the left half-wall deflected off of Ryan Lindgren’s stick and past the pad of Shesterkin.

Horvat tacked on a goal of his own at 11:47 of the period by cutting across the slot and tipping in a shot from Noah Dobson for his team-leading 33rd goal of the season.

Just under two minutes later, the Islanders struck for a third time as Shesterkin was caught wildly out of his crease, leaving a wide-open net for Kyle Palmieri to hit for his 27th goal of the season.

With an assist on Palmieri’s goal, Dobson became just the second Islanders defenseman to record 60 assists in a season and the first since Denis Potvin in 1983-84. 

After a dominant first 20 minutes of action, the second period had a much different tone for the Islanders as they spent the majority of the middle frame killing penalties.

Standing firmly in front of Semyon Varlamov, Chris Kreider got the Rangers on the board with a deflection to score a power-play goal while Reilly served a minor penalty for tripping.

Next, it was Robert Bortuzzo who was put in the box. The Islanders survived the two-minute penalty but were almost instantly shorthanded again after Dobson sent the puck into the stands from the defensive zone for a delay of game.

With their third power play of the period, the Rangers took advantage of the exhausted Islanders, piling bodies in front of Varlamov to give the goalie little chance of stopping Fox’s shot from the point that made it 3-2 entering the second intermission.

That score held for the majority of the third period, but not without the Rangers dictating play again.

With a 15-4 shot advantage in the final period, it felt almost inevitable that the Rangers would find an equalizer, especially when they pulled Shesterkin to the bench with more than three minutes to play.

Instead, the Islanders held on as Varlamov finished the night with 34 saves on 36 shots.

Anders Lee found the back of an empty net with the clock counting down for his 20th goal of the season.

The Islanders and Rangers will meet again for the final time this season on Saturday afternoon, but not before the Montreal Canadiens pay a visit to UBS Arena on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

This story will be updated. 

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