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Tavares nets hat trick to lead Isles past Rangers

Oct 16, 2011 - 1:58 AM
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - John Tavares continued his offensive showcase, registering his third career hat trick, including the go-ahead power-play goal early in the third period, as the Islanders took down the Rangers, 4-2, 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.

The Isles took advantage of an interference call on Dan Girardi and went ahead for good just seven seconds into the power play. Mark Streit blasted a shot from the high slot. Tavares, stationed at the inside edge of the right circle, used his stick to change the direction of the puck, which sailed past Lundqvist at the 3:30 mark to make it 3-2.

Nabokov, who seemed to come up ailing after making a sprawling stop later in the third, made eight stops the final period.

The Islanders got another power play with under five minutes left thanks to a hooking call on Gaborik. The Rangers killed that off and pulled Lundqvist with 1:39 left in favor of the extra attacker, but Tavares scored into an empty net with 68 seconds remaining.

Matt Moulson scored 12:04 into the game when his shot from the left circle beat Lundqvist to the stick side.

Gaborik evened the contest at 6:23 of the second on a breakaway tally. Brad Richards took the puck near center ice, and from along the left boards sent a long pass to a streaking Gaborik, whose forehand shot went between Nabokov's legs.

Lundqvist made a great sprawling glove stop to deny Tavares from in close with 8:49 left in the middle period. The Isles, who were on the power play at the time due to Brian Boyle's delay of game penalty, went ahead less than a minute later. Tavares got the rebound of a Streit shot and backhanded the disc from the lower right circle by Lundqvist at 11:47, putting the Isles up 2-1.

The Rangers got a fortunate carom to tie the contest with 1:34 left in the second. Prust tried a wraparound shot from the right side of the net, but the disc deflected off the skate of Isles center Frans Nielsen in front and across the goal line.

Game Notes

The Rangers will travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks on Tuesday to begin a six-game stretch against Canadian opponents, including four on the road to begin the set. The Rangers' home opener is October 27 against the Maple Leafs...The Isles' next game is Thursday on the road against Tampa Bay...The Rangers were 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Isles ended 2-of-8.