NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Okposo scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the New York Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the crosstown-rival New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
John Tavares scored in regulation and Jaroslav Halak had 33 saves through overtime and then stopped all three Rangers attempts in the shootout to give the Islanders their fourth win in five games (4-0-1).
Viktor Stalberg scored the tying goal in the second period, and Henrik Lundqvist had 36 saves for the Rangers, who lost for the fourth time in five games (1-3-1).
Tavares gave the Islanders the lead with a 5-on-3 power-play with 7:38 to go in the second period. As Rangers defensemen Keith Yandle (hooking) and Dan Girardi (delay of game) sat in the penalty box, Tavares cut toward to the slot and snapped his 12th goal of the season past Lundqvist. It was also his 12th score in 32 career games against the Rangers.
The Islanders improved to 11-3-1 in games in which Tavares recorded a point, and were 8-1-1 in games in which the first overall pick in the 2009 draft scored a goal.
Stalberg cut to the front of the net and redirected Marc Staal’s shot past Halak to tie it with 1:23 remaining in the period.
The Rangers outshot the Islanders 13-6 in the scoreless first period and were also credited with 11 blocked shots. The Islanders had a 28-15 advantage on shots over the final two periods and overtime.
The Islanders were also 1 for 2 on the power play, while the Rangers finished 0 for 3.
The first Rangers-Islanders matchup of the 2015-16 season also marked the Islanders’ second-ever home game against their long time rivals in New York City. The first took place at the Jan. 29, 2014 Stadium Series game held at Yankee Stadium.
Following optional morning skates, both teams spent time spoke with anticipation about the atmosphere inside Barclays Center. And the announced 15,795 in attendance did not disappoint, as they engaged in dueling chants of « Let’s go, Rangers, » and « Let’s go, Islanders, » before the opening face-off. The team-centric chanting continued throughout the game.
NOTES: The Islanders, playing their first season at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, hosted their second home game against the Rangers in New York City. The first was at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 29, 2014. … The Rangers called up Tanner Glass from Hartford of the AHL on Wednesday morning due to Emerson Etem’s illness. In 17 games with Hartford, Glass has two goals and three assists with 23 penalty minutes. « We had some options (and with the way) Glass was playing we thought it was the right thing to do, » Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said after the team’s optional morning practice. Glass skated on a line with J.T. Miller and Oscar Lindberg. … Vigneault also praised the Islanders’ new arena and tweaked the franchise’s first home, Nassau Coliseum. « It looks real nice, obviously, » Vigneault said. « For us, the coaches, the rooms are a lot bigger than the closet we had in the past. » … Along with Etem, the Rangers did not have regulars Derek Stepan (broken ribs) and Kevin Klein (oblique) in the lineup. … The Islanders scratched Brian Strait and Steve Bernier. … Islanders legends Mike Bossy and Clark Gillies were in attendance.
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