Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin scored in a span of 2:05 in the third period, Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves and the New York Islanders ended a six-game road losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Monday night.
The third meeting between the city rivals stood in contrast from the first two on Jan. 14 and 16 when the Islanders won 4-0 and the Rangers took the rematch 5-0. There were numerous scoring opportunities on Monday, but neither team could break through until the Islanders capitalized on a turnover by the Rangers.
Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek attempted to make a blind backhanded pass from the right corner before getting checked by Cal Clutterbuck. Instead of finding a Rangers teammate, the puck went to the Islanders’ Adam Pelech at the point.
Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin was unable to corral the rebound of the initial shot. Martin then got the first rebound and the puck caromed to Cizikas, who backhanded it into the vacated left side of the net with 8:45 remaining.
About two minutes later, Clutterbuck whipped a nifty cross-ice pass from the left corner to Martin. Martin had ample time to receive it while stationed on the right side of the net, and he simply slid the puck under Shesterkin’s legs.
Varlamov posted his 30th career shutout, third this season and second in as many games against the Rangers while stopping three shots from Artemi Panarin and three from Mika Zibanejad.
After the Islanders got the lead, Varlamov made a point-blank stop on a Panarin one-timer in the final minute during a Rangers’ power play to cap the shutout.
The clutch goals helped the Islanders get their second straight win after a five-game skid. The win was the 850th of coach Barry Trotz’s career.
Instead of getting a third straight win, the Rangers lost in regulation for the first time in five games (3-0-1).
Shesterkin drew his third straight start and made 28 saves, including stopping Brock Nelson on a partial breakaway midway through the second.
Panarin nearly broke the deadlock 1:57 into the third when he slipped past Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock on a breakaway, but Varlamov denied him with a glove save. Less than two minutes later, Varlamov denied Zibanejad with a glove save on a 2-on-1.
–Field Level Media