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Rangers 6, Islanders 2 @NHLdotcom

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Rangers have relied on Jaromir Jagr to provide a huge chunk of their early-season offense.

Jagr and his linemates came through in a big way against the rival Islanders.

Jagr had a goal and three assists, and the Rangers erased an early deficit by scoring the final six goals in a 6-2 victory over the Islanders on Wednesday night.

Martin Straka scored twice in the final period, and Petr Prucha, Tom Poti and Michael Nylander also had goals for the Rangers, who had lost four of five. The line of Jagr, Straka and Nylander combined for 12 points - each player netting four points.

"In order to win games, your top line has to score," Jagr said. "Some nights, it works for us, and tonight was one of those nights."

The goaltending was solid, too, as Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 23 shots to improve to 14-5.

Straka snapped a 2-2 tie when he took a pass from Jagr while standing alone in the slot. His quick one-timer beat Rick DiPietro at 6:13. Poti scored his second of the season 1:42 later during a power play, Nylander added a breakaway goal at 12:26, and Straka scored his second of the game at 13:50.

It was one of those all too familiar nights for the Islanders, as well.

"We've got the guys who can do it (win)," defenseman Brad Lukowich said. "We've got guys with skill. But we have to put a check on our commitment. It's time to start getting in the trenches. We haven't been doing that for 40 games, and that's unacceptable."

Mark Parrish and Trent Hunter gave the Islanders (17-17-2) a 2-0 lead in the first period, but that was gone before the intermission. DiPietro made 22 saves for the Islanders, who have lost three straight for the first time this season. They also allowed six goals in a loss at Buffalo on Monday.

Islanders coach Steve Stirling didn't speak to reporters until 30 minutes after the final buzzer because he was on the phone with general manager Mike Milbury, who is in Canada.

Stirling tried to put a positive spin on his team's latest loss.

"I thought for the most part, the effort was there," he said. "We played well for 50 minutes. We're showing progress, even if it's in baby steps."

Parrish put the Islanders up 1-0 just 2:12 in when he tipped Janne Niinimaa's left-point slap shot past Lundqvist. Hunter made it 2-0 at 7:09 when his left circle wrist shot ricocheted in off Lundqvist's arm.

Prucha answered for the Rangers 70 seconds later on a breakaway, firing in a high wrist shot from in tight. Jagr tied it at 12:32 off a rebound.

New York lost 6-2 at Ottawa on Monday after snapping a three-game losing streak with a home victory over Tampa Bay last Thursday.

"Monday night, we weren't thinking," Jagr said. "Tonight, the two goals they scored were not because of mental breakdowns. They were goals that just happened."

Stirling kept disregarding the last two goals as a result of playing catch-up hockey and getting caught, and felt the Islanders performed well.

"We deserved better," Stirling said. "I thought we played pretty well."

Lukowich, a member of the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, disagreed.

"We have to hold ourselves more accountable," Lukowich said. "Two years ago, I played on a team that went 1-10 in January and went on to win the Stanley Cup. We had good character guys. We have good character guys here. We just have to rise to the challenge and have to push each other."

Notes: The Islanders have allowed 18 power-play goals in the last 70 short-handed chances. They have allowed at least one man-advantage goal in nine straight games, and are last in the NHL in home penalty killing (26-114, 77.2 percent). ... The Rangers have lost only 38 man-games to injuries this season. ... The game was a sellout at 16,234. It was just the second full house at home for the Islanders, who also had a sellout on opening night against Carolina. ... The previous Islanders-Rangers game at Nassau Coliseum this season was 357 fans short of capacity. ... The Islanders are 2-2 against the Rangers this season.

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