UNIONDALE, NY (AP) – Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves in the first game since March 19, Alexis Lafreniere and Colin Blackwell scored in the second phase, and New York Ranger defeat Islanders 4-1 on Friday night.
Mika Zibanejad and K’Andre Miller also scored and Artemi Panarin had two assists for Rangers, who won four in six (4-1-1).
Georgiev improved to 7-1-0 in eight games against Islanders. He has scored two or less goals in seven of his nine appearances in his career against Islanders, including one goal or less than five times. Since making his first appearance against the Islanders on 21 November 2018, Georgiev has had more wins against the Islanders than any other NHL scorer.
Rangers have kicked off Ilya Shesterkin and reserve Keith Kinkaid in recent weeks. Georgiev were relieved to produce a win in his second leg, improving to 6-5-2 during the season.
“I think things could be a little easier, I haven’t even played for a while and I got started right away,” the 25-year-old netminder says of playing after a long break from work. “I participated confidently and just did my job well.”
Andy Greene scored and Semyon Varlamov finished with 32 saves as the Islanders clinched a 5-win streak and lost 17-2-2 at home.
The teams meet again on Sunday night at the Nassau Coliseum arena.
The Islanders are drawing with Washington Capitals with 56 points on top of the East Division with 15 matches remaining for each team.
“It is part of this long season. You won’t be in your best shape every night, ”says Islanders coach Barry Trotz. “Pucks haven’t joined us tonight.”
Rangers made a disastrous 5-2 home defeat to Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
“We look like another team. I think it was a real team effort from the goalkeeper to the ‘D’ to our striker, ”said Rangers manager David Quinn. “People did what they needed to do. It was a big win for us. “
Rangers are five points behind Boston for the final playoff place but Bruins have three games in hand.
The teams played an exciting first phase with strong interruptions at both ends. Rangers held the 13-7 shot advantage in the first 20 minutes. Varlamov stopped Ryan Strome at Rangers’ best chance in the sixth minute after Strome accepted a pass from Panarin but was denied by a Varlamov strike.
Zibanejad had a golden chance as he crossed into the Islander area in a thrust after leaving the box. But he lost control on the shot without the Islander in line of sight and was unable to take a shot.
Lafreniere finally opened the scoring with his seventh goal, tapping Varlamov’s shot at 6:05 on the second. Teammates Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil made assists. The three forwards – starting with 19-year-old Lafreniere, who was first overall on the draft last year – are all 21 years old and younger.
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Lafreneiere’s goal put an end to Varlamov’s streak of defeats against Rangers this season at 146: 05. Varlamov was registered out of two of the three team meetings earlier this season at Madison Square Garden. Georgiev left the Islanders empty in another game.
Blackwell made it 2-0 with his 12th goal at 10:01 of the second second. Blackwell scored his sixth goal in the last seven games. The 28-year-old Blackwell, who played four years at Harvard and was the player of choice in San Jose’s 7th round in 2011, had three goals in 33 NHL games against Nashville prior to this season. He signed a two-year contract with Rangers in October.
“Chances come to it and you have to make the most of it,” Blackwell said of his recent scoring ability. “I’m trying to keep it pretty simple, do the right thing and create your own luck. That’s how I play. “
Defender Greene narrowed the deficit to 2-1 with his first goal of the season at 14:53 in the second half. Greene’s slap seemed deflected by a Rangers before it dodged Georgiev.
Miller scored a covered goal at 11:48 of the third inning, the rookie defender’s fourth goal of the season.
Zibanejad added one more goal into the empty net – his 14th – to score at 18:48.
The Islanders have fallen 21-3-3 in face-to-face matches, still the best record by any NHL team in reverse games in the past three seasons.
KINGS OF THE COLISEUM
The Rangers have won their last five games at Nassau Coliseum since February 16, 2015 and eight out of a total of nine games on Long Island. The Rangers are 17-5-1 in their last 23 games at Nassau Coliseum, although they are 1-6-1 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in recent years.
VERY YOUNG RANGERS
The Rangers are the youngest team in the tournament, with 10 out of 22 players on their active roster being 23 years old or younger. The average age on Rangers’ active list is 25.2 years old.
Rangers defender Adam Fox has had a streak of 12 scoring games, in which he has 3 goals and 19 assists. It’s the third longest streak at the NHL this season, behind Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton in 14 games and Toronto’s Auston Matthews at 13.
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