Andrew Ladd scored with 7:22 to play, as the Islanders came-from-behind in the 3rd period and beat the Rangers, 3-2, Wednesday night at The Garden. It was the Blueshirts’ 7th straight home loss. And, since their six-game winning streak in early February, the Rangers are 8-7-3 in their last 18 games.
With the win, the Islanders pulled to within two points of the Bruins for the final wild card spot.
After a scoreless 1st period, Mats Zuccarello got the Rangers on the board with a power-play goal 2:46 into the 2nd period. Mika Zibanejad, from his knees, made a great pass to Zuccarello out in front of the Islanders net, and Zuccarello beat Thomas Greiss to make it 1-0.
Anders Lee tied the score just 54 seconds later, taking a rebound and beating Antti Raanta for his 27th goal of the season to make it 1-1.
But Rick Nash gave the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead a few minutes later with a great individual effort. Nash took a pass off the boards from Oscar Lindberg, beat the defense, and dribbled a shot past Greiss while falling to his stomach. It was Nash’s 20th goal of the season.
The Islanders rallied in the 3rd. Nikolay Kuleman scored a quirky, pinball-like, power-play goal at the 5:02 mark of the 3rd to tie the game, 2-2. Joshua Ho-Sang‘s shot deflected off Anthony Beauvillier‘s skate and then off Kulemin’s skate and past Raanta for the goal. Then Ladd gave the Islanders the lead for good at 13:38, taking Lee’s pass from behind-the-net and scoring a power-play goal for the eventual game-winner.
The Rangers penalty kill has now given up a power-play goal in eight straight games. The team has fallen to 23rd in the NHL in penalty kill percentage.
The Rangers [now 45-25-4, 94 pts] start a three-game West Coast road trip Saturday night in Los Angeles against the Kings.