Rangers Blank Islanders – Georgiev Gets 1st Shutout

NEW YORK — Alexandar Georgiev stopped 29 shots for his first career shutout, Filip Chytil scored for the fifth straight game, and the New York Rangers beat the crosstown-rival Islanders 5-0 on Wednesday night.

Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, and Cody McLeod, Neal Pionk and Kevin Hayes also scored to help the Rangers win for the ninth time in 11 games (9-1-1). Kevin Shattenkirk and Mika Zibanejad each added two assists in the Rangers’ seventh straight win at home, now by a combined 26-10 margin.

The Rangers ended an eight-game skid (0-7-1) to the Islanders, who had won 12 of the previous 13 meetings, including a 7-5 win at home last Thursday night.

Robin Lehner finished with 22 saves for the Islanders, losers of five of their last seven (2-4-1). They also lost to a Metropolitan Division opponent for the first time after starting the season 7-0-0.

Georgiev, 7-6-1 in 15 career games coming in, made several nice stops, including 13 saves in the third period while winning his fourth straight start.

Alexandar Georgiev - Rangers
Alexandar Georgiev, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kreider beat Lehner from the left circle on a rush with 3:41 left for his team-leading 12th to cap the scoring.

The Rangers led 3-0 after one period, and neither team could muster anything for most of the second until Hayes added to the advantage. Shattenkirk dropped the puck for Hayes at the top of the left circle, and Hayes skated in, cut across the front of the goal and beat Lehner with a backhand for his fifth with 2:43 left.

Both teams finished with five shots on goal in the middle period. The Islanders had seven shots go wide, and the Rangers had one.

Chytil extended his streak and got the Rangers started in the opening minute of the game. On a 2-on-1 rush with Kreider, he was skating up the right side and tried to send a pass across the front of the goal to his teammate, but the puck deflected off Islanders defenceman Ryan Pulock back to Chytil and he beat Lehner 29 seconds in.

McLeod got his first since being claimed off waivers by the Rangers on Jan. 25 last season, doubling the lead at 3:30. Tony DeAngelo fired a long shot from the right point in front of the blue line, and McLeod deflected it in the air with his stick past Lehner.

The Rangers also led 2-0 less than six minutes in last week in Brooklyn before the Islanders tied it with two goals late in the opening period and went on to the win. There was no comeback this time.

Pionk made it 3-0 on the power play at 8:04. He took a pass from Vladislav Namestnikov and fired a one-timer from centre point that beat a screened Lehner on the blocker side for his fourth. It gave Pionk five points (one goal, four assists) in his last five games.

Georgiev stopped a slap shot by Pulock with 5:43 left in the opening period, and then another through traffic about three minutes later.

NOTES: Islanders F Matt Martin missed his eighth straight game due to an upper-body injury. … Barzal ended a five-game points streak, in which he had a goal and five assists. … The teams meet again twice — Jan. 10 at Madison Square Garden, and Jan. 12 in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. … D Brady Skjei was back in the Rangers’ lineup after sitting out the previous two games. D Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch to make room. … Rangers F Mats Zuccarello missed his third straight game due to a groin injury. … Rangers F Ryan Strome had an assist on McLeod’s goal, giving him his first point in three games since being acquired from Edmonton last Friday. … The Rangers have scored at least one power-play goal in five of the last six games.


Islanders: At New Jersey on Friday in the second of three games in four days.

Rangers: At Philadelphia on Friday in the second of three games in four days, all against division opponents.


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Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press