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Rangers 4, Islanders 1

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers turned back the New York Islanders for the second time in three days, recording a 4-1 win Friday at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers defeated their closest rivals 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist allowed two goals or fewer in 33 of 56 games this season and in nine of his last 10 for the Rangers.

The Rangers (30-23-3) scored three times in the third period on Friday, snapping a 1-1 tie.

Center Derick Brassard gave the Rangers a 2-1 edge. Center Mats Zuccarello skated up ice on a delayed penalty call, found defenseman Marc Staal, who sent a crisp cross-ice pass to Brassard, who one-timed home for his ninth goal of the season at 10:13.

Center Brad Richards scored on a wrist shot that trickled through the pads of Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin at 14:59 of the third. The goal was Richards' 14th of the season.

Defenseman Ryan McDonough added an empty-net goal as time expired

The Islanders (21-28-8) drew even at 1 when wide-open winger Kyle Okposo tapped in defenseman Calvin de Haan's rebound at 14:28 of the second period. The goal came just five seconds after the Islanders couldn't score on the power play with Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonough off for hooking.

Defenseman Matt Donovan fired five of the Islanders 18 shots in the second period.

The Rangers took six shots in the first two minutes of the game, finally capitalizing on fourth line center Brian Boyle's fourth goal. The 6-foot-7 Boyle deflected Staal's wrist shot from the slot at 3:29 for the 1-0 lead.

The goal was Boyle's first in 11 games. The Islanders best chance in the first period occurred via the power play, however, they failed to convert for the 18th time in the last five games. The Islanders power play is 21st in the league.

NOTES: Islanders D Andrew MacDonald led the NHL with 181 blocked shots going into Friday night's game. ... Islanders LW Matt Martin was tops in the league in hits with 264 heading into the game. Martin has led the league in that category the last two seasons. ... The Rangers have registered 40 or more shots eight times this season and have 30 or more shots in 22 of their last 26 outings. The Rangers are fourth in the league with 32.4 shots per game. ... Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist appeared in his 553rd NHL game, tying him with Tiny Thompson for 50th on the league's career goalie list.
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