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Grabner nets pair as Isles down Rangers

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Grabner broke out of a scoring slump with a pair of goals to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-3 decision over the New York Rangers in a matchup of slumping rivals from Madison Square Garden.

Grabner, who hadn't tallied in 31 straight games since a two-goal effort in the season opener, and Cal Clutterbuck netted short-handed markers in the first period, while Thomas Vanek snapped a 3-3 tie with a power-play score 1:18 into the third.

Brian Strait added a goal and Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves to help the Islanders notch only their second win in 15 games, with the club entering Manhattan on a woeful 1-9-4 stretch.

"We got 60 minutes of consistent effort from our guys," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. "Our penalty kill came up big when they had to and I thought Nabokov did a great job for us."

Henrik Lundqvist stopped only 15-of-19 shots for the Rangers, who fell to 1-4-2 on their franchise-record nine-game homestand. Benoit Pouliot and Derek Stepan both connected on the power play in the loss, with Derek Dorsett also lighting the lamp for the Blueshirts.

The Islanders started the final period with a power play that quickly became a 5-on-3 when the Rangers' Dan Girardi was sent off for interference 42 seconds in. With the two-man advantage, Kyle Okposo delivered a long drive that Vanek redirected home for a 4-3 edge.

The Rangers had four power-play chances following the goal, including one in the game's waning stages when the Isles' Josh Bailey was called for boarding with 2:52 left. With Lundqvist pulled for an extra attacker, the Islanders blocked a shot that led to a Grabner breakaway and a game-sealing empty-netter with only 51 seconds on the clock.

"For the most part, we were pretty aggressive [and] we executed our game plan," Grabner said of the penalty kill. "We gave up a couple goals against, but overall it was a pretty good effort for our penalty killers."

Two other power-play opportunities for the Rangers ended up as Islanders' scores as the visitors built an early 2-0 lead.

Clutterbuck was awarded a penalty shot when Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was called for hooking on a backcheck attempt during a Blueshirts' power play, and converted the chance to stake the Islanders to a 1-0 lead with 5:18 to go in the opening period.

Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Grabner stole the puck from McDonagh on another Rangers' man advantage and beat Lundqvist on a breakaway to increase the margin.

"We gave the team that has a tremendous amount of speed in their penalty killers grade-A scoring chances and they made us pay for it," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault remarked.

The two-goal differential lasted all of 30 seconds, however. With the Rangers still skating on a 5-on-4, Pouliot deposited home a quick feed from Chris Kreider with 2:21 remaining in the opening frame.

Dorsett's shot from the right boards that bounced off Isles blueliner Thomas Hickey and found its way in tied the contest three minutes into the second, and Stepan fired a loose puck into an open left side around five minutes afterward with the Rangers again on a power play to give the home team a 3-2 edge.

Stepan's goal came just moments after Grabner just missed another short-handed chance, striking the crossbar while skating in all alone on Lundqvist.

Strait drew the Islanders even with 8:34 left in the middle session, sending a one-timer from the right point that Lundqvist got a piece of but couldn't corral.

Game Notes

Strait's goal was his first in 44 career NHL regular-season games, though he tallied once during last season's Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with Pittsburgh ... The Islanders are 10-3-2 this season when scoring three times or more and 0-16-5 when recording two or fewer goals ... The Rangers hadn't lost in regulation in their last 10 meetings with the Isles, going 8-0-2 over that span ... Lundqvist appeared in his 539rd game as a Ranger, surpassing Ed Giacomin for sole possession of third place for games played by a goaltender in club history ... Islanders center Casey Cizikas returned to action after missing two straight games with a broken jaw.

12/20 23:22:01 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago 4/19 3:00 PM ET
St. Louis NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado NBCSN, TSN, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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