Josh Bailey scored twice Tuesday night for the host New York Islanders, who never trailed as they dented the playoff hopes of their rivals with a 6-1 win over the New York Rangers in Uniondale, N.Y.
Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier scored in the second and Bailey’s second goal was sandwiched by tallies in the third from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Jordan Eberle as the Islanders (29-13-4) won their second straight to move into a tie for first place in the East Division with the idle Washington Capitals. The Islanders and Capitals are scheduled to meet in Uniondale on Thursday night.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves.
Kevin Rooney scored in the second for the Rangers (23-17-6), who had their four-game winning streak snapped and fell six points behind the Boston Bruins in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. The Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres, 2-0.
Goalie Igor Shesterkin recorded 22 saves.
Bailey, who missed the previous two games with an undisclosed injury, opened the scoring by taking a backhanded pass into the crease from Pageau and shoving a shot into the open right corner of the net as he was pushed from behind by Anthony Bitetto with 2:18 left in the first.
A turnover by the Rangers deep in their own zone led to Nelson’s goal 1:38 into the second. K’Andre Miller’s pass to Mika Zibanejad clipped off Zibanejad’s stick to begin a sequence that ended when Nick Leddy’s shot into the crease glanced off the stick of Nelson and over Shesterkin’s left shoulder.
Beauvillier, who had three assists, collected the puck after Rooney blocked a shot by Noah Dobson and scored into the wide-open net for a power-play goal at the 5:45 mark.
Brett Howden’s check of Leddy behind the Islanders’ net helped set up the Rangers’ goal. Vitali Kravtsov chased down the loose puck and passed to Brendan Smith, whose shot from just inside the blue line ticked off Rooney’s stick as he began battling for position with Dobson.
Pageau scored from the slot — and fired the shot so hard he fell over — 7:44 into the third. Bailey went to one knee in the slot and completed his first multi-goal game since March 23, 2019, with 9:44 left and Eberle beat Shesterkin with the backhand just 66 seconds later.
–Field Level Media