NEW YORK (AP) — Jaroslav Halak stopped 50 shots for his first shutout of the season as the New York Islanders kept up their recent mastery of the crosstown-rival Rangers with a 3-0 victory Thursday night.
Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle and Thomas Hickey each scored for the Islanders, who have won all three meetings this season and 10 of the last 11. Rookie sensation Mathew Barzal had three assists to help the Islanders move into a tie with Columbus one point behind Carolina for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Halak, who faced 51 shots in a loss to Columbus on Tuesday night, had 15 saves in the first period, 14 in the second and another 21 in the third for his 42nd career shutout.
Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves for the Rangers, who have lost six of eight overall and dropped to 0-4-1 in five visits to Bazrclays Center since the Islanders moved to the Brooklyn arena in 2015. The Rangers remained four points behind the Hurricanes, who lost at New Jersey.
Bailey opened the scoring at 4:53 of first period with a power-play goal for his 15th goal of the season with Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei in the penalty box for tripping.
Eberle made it 2-0 at 15:06 of the second when fired a loose puck past Lundqvist for his 20th. Leddy got his second assist of the game on the goal.
Hickey increased the lead to 3-0 at 3:57 of the third period with his third goal of the year on which Barzal recorded his third assist of the night.
Barzal has nine assists in his last four games and 25 points in last 17 contests. The 20-year-old center has 16 goals and 46 assists for 62 points, most among rookies this season.
NOTES: The Rangers have scored two goals or fewer in eight of last 12 games. … The teams meet again Brooklyn on April 5. … The Islanders scratched F Jason Chimera for the first time this season. He was replaced by Tanner Fritz. … The Islanders also scratched F Alan Quine and D Sebastian Aho. … The Rangers scratched F Paul Carey and injured D Ryan McDonagh. …. The Rangers were also without injured forwards Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich and defensemen Marc Staal and Steven Kampfer.
Rangers: At Ottawa on Saturday.
Islanders: At Carolina on Friday night.
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