Published February 14, 2013
| Sports Network
New York, NY – The New York Islanders halted a pair of skids with a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers.
Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored in the shootout for the Islanders, who had lost five in a row and eight straight at Madison Square Garden.
Evgeni Nabokov made 36 saves and turned aside both shootout attempts to assure the extra point for the Islanders.
"We learned a lot from this game, from this win and what it takes to win," Nielsen said.
Martin Biron, making his second start of the season, finished with 28 saves for the Rangers, who were vying for a fourth consecutive win.
The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals from Dan Girardi and birthday boy Marian Gaborik.
Girardi crept in from the right point and one-timed Carl Hagelin's pass. The defenseman let go a shot that deflected off an Islanders player before fluttering over Nabokov's shoulder at 3:36.
A turnover in their own zone by the Islanders led to Gaborik, who turned 31 on Thursday, banging home a rebound at 11:28. Nabokov had denied Brad Richards twice from close range prior to Gaborik lighting the lamp.
The Islanders took nearly 14 minutes to register their first shot of the game, and it was a quality chance. Matt Martin was turned away on a partial breakaway as Biron robbed him with the glove.
The Islanders were a much more aggressive team in the second period, scoring three times in the first 7:25 to grab the lead.
Colin McDonald put the visitors on the board 29 seconds into the frame, then Tavares and Brad Boyes scored 40 seconds apart. Tavares' tally came on a 2- on-1 with Casey Cizikas at 6:45, and Boyes beat Biron to the far side from the right circle off a feed from Lubomir Visnovsky.
"I don't think we were mentally taking them lightly at all," said New York captain Ryan Callahan. "We know they're a good team. If our foot did come off the gas, for whatever reason that may be, that has to be corrected. We can't have that, any night."
After failing on a 5-on-3 power play earlier in the second, the Blueshirts were able to pull even on the man advantage at the 11:14 mark of the middle stanza. Hagelin was credited with his fourth goal in the last three games after a video review.
The Rangers lost at home in this series for the first time since Dec. 26, 2009 ... Tavares extended his goal-scoring streak to four games ... The Islanders had allowed a third-period goal in their previous 21 games.