Tavares nets hat trick to lead Isles past Rangers

John Tavares continued his offensive ahead play goal early in the third period, as the Islanders took down the 2, at Nassau Coliseum.

Tavares had two goals and a pair of assists in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday. Two nights later, he had a four-point night and led the Isles to their third straight win to conclude a four-game season-opening homestand. P.A. Parenteau tallied three assists.

Evgeni Nabokov made his first start in an Islanders uniform and had 29 saves. The Isles used Al Montoya in the first three contests in place of an injured Rick DiPietro.

The 36-year-old Nabokov, who was suspended by the Isles last spring for refusing to report to the team after being claimed off waivers, played part of last season in Russia's KHL. He was then signed by Detroit as a free agent in January 2011 before being claimed on waivers by the Isles two days later.

Brandon Prust and Marian Gaborik scored for the Rangers in their first game back in North America. They lost to Los Angeles in overtime and to Anaheim in a shootout - both in Stockholm.

Henrik Lundqvist made 30 stops in defeat.