Brandon Dubinsky scored his first goal in more than a month, Marian Gaborik moved into a tie for the NHL lead with his 20th, and Martin Biron was solid in net to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Dubinsky staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead in the first period, scoring for the first time in 17 games - dating to Nov. 11 - and Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto connected in the second for New York, which has won three straight. The Rangers got off to a good start in their back-to-back games against Atlantic Division rivals, and will look to complete the sweep Friday when they host the Flyers in a matchup for first place.
Biron stopped 24 shots, as he gave No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist a break, and earned an assist on Dubinsky's second goal of the season. The Rangers are 5-2-1 in their last eight games. John Mitchell scored an empty-net goal with 1 minute, 33 seconds remaining to seal it.
Elsewhere: Nazem Kadri scored the tie-breaking goal in the third period, lifting the host Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. David Steckel and Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto, and James Reimer had 40 saves. . . . Bobby Butler scored 2:02 into overtime and the Ottawa Senators beat the Florida Panthers, 4-3, for their third straight win. Daniel Alfredsson scored his 399th goal and had two assists for Ottawa. . . . Martin Erat scored with 8.4 seconds remaining to give the Nashville Predators a 6-5 comeback victory over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets. . . . Blake Wheeler scored two goals and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 27 shots to lead the host Winnipeg Jets to a 4-0 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens . . . Jiri Hudler and Ian white scored in the third period to give the visiting Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.
Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland will miss three games after being suspended for an illegal check to the head.
The league punished Engelland for hitting Chicago forward Marcus Kruger during Tuesday night's game. No penalty was assessed on the hit 8:55 into the game.
Engelland will miss games Friday night at Winnipeg, Dec. 27 against Carolina, and Dec. 29 against the Flyers before he is able to return to face New Jersey on New Year's Eve.
San Jose's Logan Couture, who had two early goals, but missed a late try for a hat trick in the Sharks' 7-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night: "When you get two quick ones you assume you'll get more chances."
- Inquirer wire services