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Gaborik's goal gives Rangers OT win over Islanders

Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 11:24 PM

Marian Gaborik's power-play goal 42 seconds into overtime gave the New York Rangers a 2-1 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

The Rangers got a power play 21 seconds into overtime when Michael Grabner took down Michael Del Zotto. They controlled the puck off the faceoff before Gaborik took a pass from Rick Nash and blasted a straightaway 30-footer through traffic and past Evgeni Nabokov for his eighth of the season.

The Islanders were less than six minutes away from their first shutout of the Rangers since Dec. 26, 2006, before Nash's deflection of Derek Stepan's shot got behind Nabokov to tie the game. Stepan teed up a shot from the left point; Nash, stationed about 10 feet in front of the net, swatted the puck downward with his stick and it hopped into the net. It was Nash's fifth goal in four games and his eighth of the season -- all in the third period.

Until then, Grabner's goal midway through the first period had been the only scoring, though both teams had plenty of opportunities. The Rangers dominated the third period, outshooting the Islanders 15-9 and earning the tying goal.

Nabokov finished with 35 saves, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots. The Rangers had all three of the power plays awarded in the game.

The Islanders had the game's first good opportunity 7:20 into the first period when John Tavares slid a pass to Brad Boyes behind the defense, but Lundqvist got his arm on Boyes' wrister.

Grabner became the third Islanders player to reach double figures in goals when he opened the scoring at 11:51. Colin McDonald grabbed a dump-in behind the Rangers' net and wheeled a backhand pass to the slot right to Grabner, who zipped a one-timer over Lundqvist's glove for his 10th of the season. He has a goal in three straight games.

Each goaltender survived early tests in the scoreless second period. Lundqvist denied Grabner on a 2-on-1 break and stopped Josh Bailey's blast from the high slot before Nabokov robbed J.T. Miller on a wide-open one-timer from 15 feet at the 7:00 mark.

Matt Moulson missed a chance 90 seconds later when he shot high on a backhander from the slot after a feed by Boyes put him in alone on Lundqvist.

The Rangers had the better of the play for most of the second period and earned the game's first two power plays on penalties five minutes apart to Casey Cizikas and Kyle Okposo. But the Rangers managed one shot in four minutes with the extra man; the Islanders had three, including a breakaway by Matt Martin that forced Lundqvist to come up big.

The visitors came out strong to start the third period, but Nabokov was again up to the challenge, denying Nash on a power move to the net and again on a wrister from the right circle. Lundqvist then made two excellent saves on Moulson, one on a deflection and the other on the rebound.

The Rangers were without defenseman Marc Staal, who is out indefinitely after taking a puck in the eye on Tuesday. Center Brad Richards sat out his second game after being checked headfirst into the boards by the Buffalo Sabres' Patrick Kaleta on Sunday. Two former Islanders, defenseman Roman Hamrlik and center Micheal Haley, took their places.

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