NEW YORK — John Tavares scored in the shootout to lift the New York Islanders over the Rangers 4-3 on Thursday night for their eighth win in the last nine games against their struggling crosstown rivals.
Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal scored in regulation, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 38 shots to help the Islanders recover after blowing a two-goal lead in the third to finish 2-2-0 on a four-game trip.
David Desharnais, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes scored, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 35 saves for the Rangers, who lost their fifth straight (0-3-2) to fall to 1-5-2. It's their fewest points after eight games since they were 1-6-1 to start the 1959-60 season. Back then, teams got a point for a tie, and there was no overtime and or shootouts.
The Rangers trailed 3-1 after two periods and pulled within one about 3 1/2 minutes into the third. Brandan Smith rushed up the ice and tried to send a pass across in front to Hayes. Lee got his stick on the puck to block the pass, but Zuccarello swooped in and put it past Halak for his second of the season.
Smith appeared to tie it with about 7:53 left when the puck went off his left skate, then his right skate and in. The goal was disallowed after a video review because officials ruled he had kicked the puck in.
Hayes tied it about two minutes later, skating down the right side and sending a backhander at a sharp angle as he passed the goal line that went in.
The Islanders had a chance in the closing seconds of regulation, but Lundqvist stopped two attempts in close by Josh Bailey.
Barzal gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead with his first career goal early in the second. The 20-year-old, who got his first assist in a loss at Los Angeles on Sunday night, skated around Rick Nash, went in on Lundqvist and chipped it over the goalie's glove at 1:15. Bailey then retrieved the puck for Barzal, who was playing in his ninth NHL game.
With the Rangers' Chris Kreider off for hooking, Lee got the Islanders on the scoreboard first with their first power-play goal of the season. Lee put in a diving rebound of a shot by Ryan Pulock, who was making his season debut, past Lundqvist 2:40 into the game for his third of the season.
Desharnais tied it at 5:02 when he tipped a shot by Kevin Shattenkirk from the right point past Halak as he scored for the second straight game.
Nelson put the Islanders back in front just 1:04 later, shooting a wrist shot past three players into the upper left corner past a screened Lundqvist. It was Nelson's fourth of the season and the 13th first-period goal allowed by the Rangers in eight games.
The Rangers nearly tied it with under four minutes remaining in the first when Vesey's shot got past Halak, but the goalie made a diving stick save to keep the puck out.
Notes: Halak played in his 400th career game and improved to 214-126-42. Tavares was held without a point for the fifth straight game since he had two goals and an assist in a 6-3 win over Buffalo on Oct. 7. The Islanders were 0 for 20 on the power play over their first six games and went 1 for 3 against the Rangers. The teams will meet three more times: back at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 13, and at Barclays Center on Feb. 15 and April 5. Shattenkirk's assist on Desharnais' goal gave him five assists and seven points in eight games this season. Desharnais now has five goals and 16 points in 20 career games against the Islanders.