NEW YORK — Josh Bailey scored with 1:26 remaining to lift the New York Islanders over the Rangers 4-3 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Cal Clutterbuck found Bailey cutting to the back post, and he beat Henrik Lundqvist to help the Islanders improve to 13-2-0 in the last 15 meetings between the Big Apple rivals.
Matt Barzal had a goal and two assists, and Robin Lehner made 27 saves. Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, and Johnny Boychuk had two assists.
Ryan Strome, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, who dropped their fifth straight to open 2019. Lundqvist stopped 16 shots.
Fast tied it 3-3 midway through the third period by knocking the puck out of the air and past Lehner. That came after Lee put the Islanders ahead 3-2 by redirecting Nick Leddy’s slap shot on the power play early in the second period.
Former Islander Strome opened the scoring 1:38 into the game with a power-play goal, but Barzal answered just 53 seconds later with a nifty deke past Lundqvist. The speedy forward has been terrific against the Rangers, recording 14 points in seven games. Barzal will represent the Islanders at All-Star weekend in San Jose.
Eberle made it 2-1 five minutes later after mishandling a puck but recovering to snap a wrist shot by Lundqvist.
Shattenkirk tied it 2-2 when he scored his second of the season at 1:11 of the middle frame.
NOTES: Lundqvist appeared in his 837th career game, tying Jacques Plante for 12th place on the NHL’s career list. … Rangers F Kevin Hayes missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. …. Rangers scratched Ds Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Smith. … Islanders scratched Fs Michael Dal Colle and Tom Kuhnhackl along with D Lucas Sbisa.
Rangers: Visit Islanders on Saturday
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Scott Charles, The Associated Press