Ladd Scores 2 as Islanders Beat Rival Rangers 4-2

Andrew Ladd scored twice to lead the Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Thursday night.

Anders Lee and Nikolay Kulemin also scored, and Thomas Greiss stopped 25 shots to help the Islanders improve to 8-0-2 in their last 10 at home. John Tavares had two assists for his 12th multipoint game of the season.

The Islanders, who swept the four games between the teams a year ago, beat the Rangers for the second time in three meetings this season.

Nick Holden and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Rangers, whose season-high six-game winning streak was snapped. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 19 saves.

Ladd had an empty-netter with 1:10 left, and then nearly got another in the final minute when he hit a goalpost.

The Rangers went on a four-minute power play on a high-sticking double-minor on the Islanders' Josh Bailey in the closing seconds of the second period. However, the Islanders extended their lead to 3-1 with a short-handed goal at 3:03 of the third. Tavares and Kulemin were attacking in the offensive zone when Tavares passed it from behind the net to Kulemin in front, and he put it past Lundqvist for his 10th.

Vesey pulled the Rangers back within one 43 seconds later - with seconds left on the power play - when he knocked in a rebound of a shot by Brady Skjei for his 14th. Islanders coach Doug Weight challenged for goalie interference because the Rangers' Rick Nash fell into Greiss before Vesey knocked it in, but the goal stood after a review.

The Rangers, who lead the NHL with 19 road wins, lost for just the second time in their last 10 away from home.

With the Rangers leading 1-0 after one period, the teams picked up the intensity in the second. Former Islander Michael Grabner was all alone in front just seconds into the middle period, but his attempt was denied by Greiss.

The Islanders then took the lead with two goals less than 4 minutes apart.

The tying score came after some slick passing as Tavares sent it from the right corner to Josh Bailey in the right circle. Bailey then quickly sent it across the front of the crease to Lee, who settled the puck, turned and put it into the open left side of the net for his 22nd at 2:43.

Stephen Gionta then knocked the Rangers' Marc Staal off the puck behind the net and sent a pass in front to Ladd, who poked it in past Lundqvist from the right side for his 13th at 6:24.

The Islanders outshot the Rangers 7-5 in a first period which also saw the teams combine for 11 blocked shots. The Islanders controlled play early on as the Rangers were whistled for two penalties over the first 4:15, but couldn't convert on their chances.

Holden got the Rangers on the scoreboard just 8 seconds after his hooking penalty expired. Mats Zuccarello brought the puck up the left side on a 2-on-1 break and sent a pass across the front to Holden, who fired it in from the right dot past Greiss for his ninth at 6:23 on the Rangers' first shot on goal.

The Islanders, who had the first four shots on goal of the game, went about 9 1/2 minutes before getting their fifth on Johnny Boychuk's attempt with 6:07 left in the first.

NOTES: Rangers D Kevin Klein missed the game due to flulike symptoms. He was replaced in the lineup by Adam Clendening. ... Rangers coach Alain Vigneault also put LW Matt Puempel in place of fellow rookie Pavel Buchnevich. ... The Rangers won at home 5-3 in the teams' season opener and the Islanders won 4-2 in Brooklyn on Dec. 6. The teams conclude the season series March 22 at Madison Square Garden. ... Injured Islanders D Travis Hamonic and RW Cal Clutterbuck both skated Thursday morning, but neither is ready to return. ... The Islanders have won all four meetings between the teams at Barclays Center since moving to Brooklyn before last season.


Rangers: Host Eastern Conference-leading Washington on Sunday.

Islanders: At New Jersey on Saturday night to start a two-night, home-and-home set with the Devils.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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