Josh Bailey made the Islanders’ only shot on goal in the third period count, scoring with 1 minute 26 seconds remaining in a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Cal Clutterbuck found Bailey cutting to the back post, and he beat Henrik Lundqvist to help the Islanders improve to 13-2-0 in the last 15 meetings between the rivals.
Matt Barzal had a goal and two assists, and Robin Lehner made 27 saves, including on 16 of 17 Rangers shots in the third period. Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, and Johnny Boychuk had two assists.
Ryan Strome, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, who dropped their fifth straight to open 2019. Lundqvist stopped 16 shots.
Fast tied it, 3-3, midway through the third period by knocking the puck out of the air and past Lehner. That came after Lee put the Islanders ahead 3-2 by redirecting Nick Leddy’s slap shot on a power play early in the second period.
Strome, a former Islander, opened the scoring 1:38 into the game with a power-play goal, but Barzal answered 53 seconds later with a nifty deke past Lundqvist.
Eberle made it 2-1 five minutes later, mishandling a puck but recovering to snap a wrist shot by Lundqvist.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, DEVILS 2 John Tavares scored twice and hit the 300-goal mark for his career in leading Toronto past the host Devils.
Defenseman Ron Hainsey also scored in Toronto’s three-goal first period and Michael Hutchinson made 27 saves as the Maple Leafs beat the Devils for the third time in three games.
“It’s always that more satisfying when it contributes to a big win,” said Tavares, who also picked up an assist on Mitch Marner’s empty-net goal with 22 seconds left. Tavares added, “So credit a lot of guys who I’ve played with over my career because obviously that was a big part of helping me be successful.”
Tavares’s best season was 38 goals and 48 assists in 2014-15 with the Islanders. He now had 29 goals and 21 assists in 43 games with the Maple Leafs.
Blake Coleman and Brian Boyle scored 26 seconds apart late in the second period for the Devils, who have lost four of five. Keith Kinkaid made 39 saves, including two on Tavares that kept him from reaching 30 goals for the season.
“We need to start stringing together wins and playing complete games and giving ourselves a shot,” forward Kyle Palmieri said.
Hutchinson, acquired in a trade with Florida on Dec. 29, made his fourth straight start with Frederik Anderson and Garret Sparks out with injuries. He came up big early in the third period, stopping Brett Seney in close.
The Maple Leafs outscored the Devils, 13-3, in winning the first two meetings this season, and it looked as if they were headed for another blowout after the opening 20 minutes.
Hainsey scored his first goal since Nov. 23 with a shot from the left point at 4:30. Tavares got his 300th goal less than three minutes later, lifting the rebound of Jake Gardiner’s shot past Kinkaid. He added No. 301 in the waning seconds of the period, finishing off a great play on which Marner made a cross-ice pass to Morgan Rielly, who found Tavares with another cross-ice pass for a shot into an open net.
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