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NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at NY Rangers

(Tuesday, March 4th)

Final Score: NY Islanders 4, NY Rangers 3 (SO)

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Jeff Tambellini recorded the game-winning goal in the shootout and the New York Islanders edged the crosstown rival Rangers, 4-3, in the opener of a home-and-home set at Madison Square Garden.

Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenheim and Trent Hunter scored in regulation for the Islanders, who halted a two-game skid and continued to inch closer to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Wade Dubielewicz finished with 27 saves in the win. The Islanders are now three points behind Philadelphia for the final playoff spot. Buffalo, which beat the Flyers on Tuesday, sits one point behind Philly.

Nigel Dawes, Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan scored for the Rangers, who saw their four-game win streak halted but still earned at least one point for the 10th consecutive game (7-0-3). Henrik Lundqvist allowed three goals on 18 shots in the loss. The Rangers are currently tied with Boston for the sixth playoff seed.

"It's always frustrating to lose in a shootout," said Lundqvist. "I just have to be better. I hate to lose in a shootout. It's the worst. You (goaltender) play a big part and you want to be there for your team, and I came up short. It's not good enough."

The Rangers entered the third period down 3-2, but tied the score at 5:47 on a short-handed goal by Callahan. Jaromir Jagr was whistled for holding, but the Islanders appeared confused with the extra skater. A loose puck was picked up by Callahan, who sped down the right-wing side and sent a shot that was saved by Dubielewicz. Callahan, though, followed the shot and slid home the rebound from beneath the circle as he was falling to the ice.

The contest remained deadlocked at three apiece for the remainder of regulation and neither side found the back of the net in overtime. In the shootout, both Dawes and Bill Guerin scored in the second round but nobody lit the lamp on either side again until the sixth round. Rangers forward Martin Straka missed the net and Tambellini beat Lundqvist along the ice with a hard wrister and the Isles skated off with the victory.

"I've never been a guy to shoot low, but I thought I'd change it up," said Tambellini. "It's the little things (that make the difference) as you get later in the shootout rounds. I loved having the chance to win it with two points on the line. Hopefully, we'll get more down the stretch."

A fluke goal allowed the Islanders to take a 1-0 lead in the late stages of the opening period. Comeau hustled into the offensive zone and beat Marek Malik for control of the puck. Comeau then centered the puck from the right rear boards and it deflected off of Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival and into the net with 1:17 remaining before the first intermission.

The speed of Scott Gomez led to a 1-1 score early in the second. With the Rangers on the power play due to a tripping minor on Radek Martinek, Gomez streaked down the left-wing side, sped past Freddy Meyer and went behind the net. Islanders defenseman Rob Davison could not catch Gomez either, thus leaving Dawes all alone in front. Gomez passed to Dawes, who easily deposited his 11th goal into the back of the cage from the top of the crease at 2:29.

Less than a minute later, the Isles regained the lead when Bergenheim notched his eighth goal. Miroslav Satan left a drop pass in the high slot for Bergenheim, who collected the disc and fired home a wrist shot through traffic with help from a screen by Satan, who continued toward the net after his pass.

After Hunter's goal at 5:10, the Rangers drew within 3-2 at the 7:14 mark when Drury lit the lamp with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.

Game Notes

Islanders franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro is currently excused from the team for personal reasons...This marked the 14th short-handed goal given up by Rangers in 2007-08. That's the most in the NHL this season...The Islanders lead the season series 4-1 and have also captured 10 of the last 14 games in this series overall...The teams will meet Thursday night in Uniondale...The Rangers are now 21-13-1 at home this season...The Islanders have won four of their last five road games...The Rangers finished 1-for-2 on the power play and the visitors went scoreless on two chances with the extra skater.

03/05 00:21:32 ET

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