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02/14/2013 11:29 PM EST
Tavares nets SO clincher for Isles over Rangers
NY ISLANDERS 4, NY RANGERS 3 (OT)

By IRA PODELL
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- After a rough first period, the New York
Islanders came out and played as though they had nothing to
lose.



At the same time, they might have caught the New York Rangers
thinking they already had the game won.



The slumping Islanders erased a two-goal deficit with three
second-period goals and then held off the Rangers in a shootout
to win 4-3 on Thursday night and snap a five-game losing streak.



John Tavares scored in the second-period outburst and then
followed Frans Nielsen's goal in the tiebreaker to seal the
much-needed victory in a place the Islanders have had little
recent success.



"We found a way to handle adversity," Tavares said. "We were in
their face and more physical after we went down 2-0. We talked
after the first about coming out with better intensity. We
really challenged ourselves.



"It's a big win We played tough on the road and found a way."



Colin McDonald got the comeback going 29 seconds into the
second, and Tavares and Brad Boyes scored 40 seconds apart to
put the Islanders in front 3-2.



"Quite honestly, I think you settle in and you think it's going
to be an easy one because we're playing really well," Rangers
coach John Tortorella said. "They score one, it gives them some
life ... and then they start defending."



The Rangers got back even at 3, but Evgeni Nabokov shut the door
the rest of the way for the Islanders, who broke an eight-game
losing streak at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are 12-3-3
against the Islanders, dating to a win on Dec. 17, 2009.



Nabokov stopped Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash in the shootout.
The Rangers were looking for their second home win over the
Islanders in a week. Instead, they had a three-game winning
streak snapped.



Dan Girardi and Gaborik staked the Rangers to the lead in the
first period against Nabokov, and Carl Hagelin tied it in the
second. It marked the second straight game they lost a multigoal
lead. New York recovered to win at Boston in a shootout on
Tuesday.



"We end up with three out of four points," Tortorella said of
the two games. "We had a number of guys struggle, but we got a
point so we don't leave here naked. That's the way you have to
look at it sometimes.



"Do we have a lot of things to improve on? Yeah, but I'm not
going to run them down because I thought we had some good
minutes."



Martin Biron gave Rangers' workhorse goalie Henrik Lundqvist a
break by making just his second start of the season.



Nabokov made 36 saves through overtime, and Biron had 28. Both
teams had four shots in overtime.



"We got the momentum on our side," Nabokov said. "You could see
it in guys' eyes. They were fired up. You have to build."



McDonald got the Islanders' rally going when Casey Cizikas found
him with a pass from behind the Rangers net for a quick shot
that cut the deficit to 2-1.



The Rangers had a chance to stretch their lead a few minutes
later when Eric Boulton and Nielsen were called for penalties
1:27 apart, giving the Rangers' struggling power play a 5-on-3
edge for about a half-minute.



Just seconds after Nielsen left the box, the Islanders got even
on Tavares' eighth goal, scored off of Biron's glove at 6:45.



The home crowd had barely absorbed the sting of the blown lead
when the Islanders struck again. Boyes turned a pass from
defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky into a quick shot from the right
circle that made it 3-2.



"Sometimes I just need to make a save and stop the bleeding,"
Biron said. "I think the Tavares two-on-one might have been the
one for me."



The offense was a reversal of fortune for the Islanders, who
came in with one of the worst goal differentials in the NHL
while playing 5-on-5. They scored four power-play goals in a
home loss to Carolina on Monday and netted none at even
strength.



That had Rangers fans chanting "Hen-rik, Hen-rik" toward
Lundqvist, who was sitting on the bench. But Biron was perfect
after the second period until the shootout.



"They were chanting that they want Hank in there. He was one of
the big reasons we got a point," Tortorella said.



The Rangers bounced back with their much maligned power play.
They had connected for only four goals in 44 man-advantage
situations this season before Thursday, and were aided by a
favorable video review.



Hagelin kicked the puck with his skate and then stood tall as he
crowded Nabokov in the crease. He managed to nudge the puck into
the corner of the net to tie it 3-3 at 11:14.



Capuano was irate on the Islanders bench and voiced his
displeasure to both referees after the goal was confirmed by a
video review.



The Rangers broke out with two goals in the first period.
Girardi beat Nabokov at 3:36 for the defenseman's first goal of
the season. Gaborik, on his 31st birthday, doubled the lead at
11:28.



NOTES: Rangers C Brian Boyle returned to the lineup after being
a healthy scratch the previous three games. Boyle recorded only
one assist and was a minus-3 in the first nine games of the
season. Chris Kreider sat out. ... Nabokov has started 11 of the
Islanders' first 13 games. ... Hagelin has scored four goals in
three games. ... Tortorella benched star forward Brad Richards
for all but one shift in the third period, then used him for two
shifts in overtime. Tortorella said the effort was there, but
that Richards "struggled."

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