Rangers rise in the East after beating NY Islanders
LOS ANGELES - Reuters
Rangers’ Marian Gaborik (L) celebrates his goal with teammate Artem Anisimov. AFP photoCarl Hagelin scored twice to help lift the New York Rangers to the top of the Eastern Conference with a 3-0 win over city rivals the Islanders on Monday.
The Rangers returned from a two-day break to win their fifth game in a row and move a point ahead of the Boston Bruins, although it’s a lofty position that New York are refusing to get carried away with.
“Doesn’t mean anything to me,” Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters. “How many games have we played? I don’t care about Boston or anybody else. We haven’t even gone halfway through the year.”
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves for the shutout, while his Islanders counterpart Evgeni Nabokov also stopped 28 shots in a losing effort.
Hagelin put the Rangers (22-8-4) ahead early in the second period then made it 2-0 early in the third.
“Both of those goals were just me kind of coasting toward the net while the other guys were doing a good job,” Hagelin said. “I came in late and found the puck.”
Marian Gaborik netted his league-leading 22nd goal of the season late in the third period to send the Islanders to their third straight defeat.
Gaborik has scored in his last five games and has seven goals in that stretch to match his goal tally from all of last season.
The Islanders have had trouble finding the net with frequency and are currently last in the East with an 11-17-6 record.
Meanwhile in St. Paul, Minnesota, Jan Hejda scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Colorado Avalanches snapped a nine-game road losing skid by beating the Minnesota Wild 4-2.
The Avalanche won on the road for the first time since October and extended Minnesota’s winless streak to seven games.
Ryan O’Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog and T.J. Galiardi also scored for Colorado.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Wild.
In Vancouver, Andrew Ebbett scored twice to lead the Vancouver Canucks over the Edmonton Oilers 5-3.