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Rangers salvage one win in season series with Islanders

Dec 22, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) plays the puck past New York Islanders left wing Zach Parise (11) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kaapo Kakko scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:47 remaining in the third period as the New York Rangers ended a five-game home losing streak to the rival New York Islanders with a 5-3 victory Thursday night.

The Rangers won for the eighth time in nine games and erased a trio of one-goal deficits. After being unable to score during a late power play, the Rangers made a key defensive play to get the lead.

Rangers’ defenseman K’Andre Miller forechecked Mathew Barzal along the half boards near the left circle. After forcing the turnover, Miller found a cutting Kakko, who lifted the puck over goalie Ilya Sorokin before Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho could get down to block the shot.

Artemi Panarin scored on a power play in the first period to tie the game at 1-1, Julien Gauthier scored an equalizer in the second and Barclay Goodrow did likewise in the third. Vincent Trocheck added an empty-net goal as the Rangers avoided being swept in the three-game season series with the Islanders.

Anders Lee, Barzal and Alexander Romanov scored for the Islanders, who lost for the first time in 12 games when carrying a lead into the third. The Islanders also fell to 3-6-2 in their past 11 contests.

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin made 15 saves, while Sorokin stopped 29 shots.

Lee opened the scoring with 7:12 remaining when his pass from the left edge of the crease banked off Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren’s right skate. The Rangers tied it nearly 4 1/2 minutes later when Panarin ripped a slap shot from the left faceoff circle over the outstretched glove of Sorokin.

Barzal gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead 2:39 into the second when he finished off a breakaway after teammate Josh Bailey pried the puck from Kakko near the blue line in the Rangers’ offensive zone.

The Rangers tied it nearly three minutes later when Gauthier slipped past Islanders defenseman Robin Salo near the crease after getting a pass from Goodrow and lifted a backhander past Sorokin.

The Islanders took their third one-goal lead with 11:15 remaining in the second when Romanov blasted a slap shot from the left point over Shesterkin.

The Rangers tied it again three minutes into the third when Goodrow got position on Salo and deflected Gauthier’s shot from the left circle past Sorokin.

–Field Level Media