Andrew Copp recorded a natural hat trick in the first period as the New York Rangers rolled to a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday in Elmont, N.Y.
The Rangers (51-21-6, 108 points) clinched at least second place in the Metropolitan Division. They are tied with the Hurricanes in points, but Carolina currently holds the tiebreaker edge with one more regulation win.
Copp joined Don Raleigh (1948) and Kelly Kisio (1986) as the third player in team history to record a hat trick in the first period. He also joined Raleigh as the second Ranger to register a natural hat trick in the first period.
Copp recorded his second career hat trick by scoring twice in a span of 4:05 and again late in the opening period as the Rangers improved to 11-2-1 since March 25.
Chris Kreider scored his league-leading 26th power-play goal while Ryan Strome and Ryan Reaves also scored for the Rangers.
Artemi Panarin collected four assists and ended the night at 96 points, surpassing the career high of 95 set in his first season with the Rangers in 2019-20. Adam Fox contributed three assists.
Rangers backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves and won his seventh straight start.
Brock Nelson scored twice, and Josh Bailey had a goal and an assists for the Islanders (35-32-10, 80 points), who lost their third straight.
Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves.
Copp opened the scoring 3:43 in when he flew down the right wing, got a backhanded pass from Panarin through the slot and whipped a one-timer into the net.
Copp scored his second goal came off another Panarin feed, as he made it 2-0 with a wrist shot from below the right faceoff circle. Copp got the hat trick with 1:47 remaining in the first by finishing off a give-and-go with Strome.
Nelson’s one-timer 37 seconds into the middle period ended the Rangers’ shutout streak at 200 minutes, 43 seconds.
Kreider put home a rebound on a power play and Strome fired a long wrister in a span of 1:52 late in the second period. Nelson’s second of the night came on a power play early in the third period before Reaves and Bailey traded goals in the middle of the final frame.
–Field Level Media