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Rangers 4, Islanders 1
Teenage rookie J.T. Miller scored his first two NHL goals in his second career game to lift the New York Rangers to a victory over the New York Islanders Thursday night.
Miller, who won't turn 20 until March, gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead just 1:29 in and then pushed their advantage to 3-1 in the second period with a rare power-play goal for the club. Marian Gaborik also scored, defenseman Marc Staal had two assists and Ryan McDonagh added an empty-net goal to give the Rangers their second win in three games.
New York lost in Miller's NHL debut Tuesday at New Jersey.
The Rangers have an eight-game winning streak over the Islanders at Madison Square Garden, outscoring them 35-11.
New York (5-5) entered with 20 goals, tied for fewest in the NHL, but scored more than two for just the second time in five games. The Rangers connected for only the fourth time this season in 37 power-play opportunities - the worst percentage in the league.
The Islanders' struggles on the power play continued as they went 0 for 5. They have failed in 19 straight chances over three games after starting the season 9 for 24.
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves as he started for the ninth time in the Rangers' 10 games this season. It was his first win in three outings. The Rangers also welcomed back captain Ryan Callahan, who had missed three games because of a shoulder injury nine days earlier.
John Tavares scored his fifth goal of the season in the second period to cut the Islanders' deficit to 2-1, but they dropped their third straight after a 4-2-1 start. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 21 shots just hours after the Islanders acquired veteran goalie Tim Thomas from the Boston Bruins.
The 38-year-old Thomas has no intention of playing this season - the last year of his contract - and has been under suspension by the Bruins for failing to report to the club.
Miller started the scoring early with a snap shot from the lower left circle that beat Nabokov. Gaborik made it 2-0 with 5:56 left in the first period when he was left alone in front for a perfectly placed drive that produced his sixth goal of the season.
Tavares brought the Islanders within a goal 11:13 into the second period with a rising wrist shot from the right circle that eluded Lundqvist's glove, but Miller struck again with 1:49 left in the period when he got by the defense and came right in on Nabokov.
Devils 4, Lightning 2
Ilya Kovalchuk broke a tie with a short-handed goal late in the second period and New Jersey won its third straight game with a victory over slumping Tampa Bay.
Andy Greene and Patrik Elias iced the game with power-play goals 14 seconds apart with less than 5 minutes to play as the Devils (6-1-3) sent the Lightning to their third consecutive loss. Elias also had two assists.
Adam Henrique scored for the second game in a row and Martin Brodeur made 17 saves for New Jersey.
Nate Thompson and Matthew Carle scored for the Lightning, who have five goals during their losing streak. Tampa Bay scored 37 times in starting the season 6-1.
New Jersey, which came in having killed off 15 straight penalties, was 4 for 4 on the penalty kill, with Kovalchuk tallying after the Devils got an unsportsmanlike penalty.