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Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders hang on against Rangers (Highlights)

Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 Rangers shots in helping his New York Islanders come away with the 4-2 victory at the Barclays Center on Tuesday.

The New York Islanders were able to maintain their narrow lead against their crosstown rival New York Rangers on Tuesday night. The Isles nearly blew a 2-0 lead once more when the Rangers fought back and fought hard to make it a 2-1 and 3-2 game in the second period. John Tavares was able to cash in on the Islanders second powerplay chance, going 1-2 on the man-up and killing every penalty taken.

Series Tied

From the puck drop, rivaling chants of “Let’s go Islanders” and “Let’s go Rangers” chants filled the Barclays Center. The Islanders came out of the gate flying on the ice capitalizing on multiple Ranger turnover opportunities. The Islanders took some penalties in the first period which could have turned momentum for the opponent, but a rock solid penalty kill prevented the blueshirts from capitalizing.

Scott Mayfield opened the scoring for the Islanders at 7:03 of the first period. After killing off a four minute penalty, Jason Chimera chipped a pass to Brock Nelson who fired it right back and was able to deflect it off Chimera for a 2-0 lead. There was an enormous momentum shift in favor of the Islanders who survived an onslaught from the Rangers on the powerplay, who had several opportunities throughout the game.

Jimmy Vesey made it a one goal game less than a minute into the second period but the Rangers were unable to even begin to capitalize on the momentum shift as Andrew Ladd was able to find the back of the net. It was 3-1 Islanders until Marc Staal capitalized on a 4-on-2 in the Islanders zone and cut the lead back to one goal.

In the third period, John Tavares scored the Islanders first power play goal in 12 attempts and was able to cap off the game for the Blue and Orange. The Rangers had a powerplay with about a minute and a half left in the 3rd period, and a 5-on-3 shortly thereafter but thanks to the Islanders pristine PK and Halak the season series is tied 1-1.

Ahead for the Isles and Rangers

The Islanders have now collected points in five straight games, taking 9-of-10 possible points. With a Sabres loss tonight. the Isles can begin reclaiming ground in the Metropolitan Division. If the Red Wings drop their game to Winnipeg, and if the Canes and Leafs both lose in the coming days they can potentially leapfrog them with a win on Thursday.

The Rangers will play the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at the MTS Center. For the Rangers, Matt Pumpel did not return after sustaining an injury in the first period and Rick Nash‘s condition is still unknown after leaving in the second.

Mayfield continues to make a case to stay in the Islanders lineup. The rookie has three points in his three call-up games. Once Johnny Boychuk is healthy, the Islanders will have a decision to make as to which of their defensemen they will send down either Pelech or Mayfield.

The Islanders play the St. Louis Blues this Thursday at the Barclays Center.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.