NEW YORK – Cal Clutterbuck’s late goal helped the New York Islanders cap a stellar road trip and edge closer to the Rangers in the playoff race.
Clutterbuck scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:28 remaining in the third period, and the Islanders fended off the New York Rangers 6-4 on Sunday night.
Johnny Boychuk had two goals. Kyle Okposo had a goal and assist and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders. Defenseman Nick Leddy had two assists. Frans Nielsen added an empty-netter with 1:01 remaining.
The Islanders, who led 3-0 and 4-2 before the Rangers rallied to tie it on Derick Brassard’s goal with about 8½ minutes to go, ended their season-high seven-game road trip at 6-1-0.
On the winning goal, Casey Cizikas won the faceoff against Derek Stepan and Clutterbuck wristed it past Antti Raanta from the top of the left faceoff circle for his 12th of the season.
“It was a great play call by Zeeker,” Clutterbuck said. “I have to give him a lot of credit. He won the faceoff right on my tape. I caught it and flung it on net.”
Eric Staal had a goal and an assist for his first points with the Rangers in his fourth game since being acquired in a trade from Carolina just before the deadline.
Oscar Lindberg and Tanner Glass also scored for the Rangers, who have lost all three games to the Islanders this season.
It was the first meeting of the season between the rivals at Madison Square Garden and also a possible first-round playoff matchup next month. The Rangers are second in the Metropolitan Division with 82 points and the Islanders are third with 79, but the Islanders have three games in hand.
“We know we have games in hand, we know the situation,” Okposo said. “Obviously we’re fighting for home ice down the stretch. We’re fighting for a playoff spot.”
Penguins 6, Devils 1
In Newark, New Jersey, Evgeni Malkin scored two goals as the Penguins took advantage of a couple of defensive lapses.
Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 1
In Chicago, Patrick Kane scored his 38th goal on the first shot of the game and Corey Crawford made 33 saves.
Stars 2, Senators 1
In Ottawa, Antoine Roussel scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period.
Oilers 2, Jets 1
In Winnipeg, Lauri Korpikoski scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Cam Talbot made 39 saves.
Blues 4, Wild 2
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Jori Lehtera scored in his return to the lineup.
Lehtera was back following a three-game absence after being hit in the face by a puck on Feb. 25. Ryan Reaves, Patrik Berglund and Robby Fabbri also scored for St. Louis, which won its third straight.