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Barzal leads Isles to rout of Rangers

NEW YORK (AP) Mathew Barzal was terrific and Jaroslav Halak stepped up at a couple of key moments.

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It was the Islanders' day again in New York.

Barzal had two goals and three assists, Anthony Beauvillier added two goals and an assist, and the Islanders beat the Rangers 7-2 on Saturday for their ninth win in the last 10 meetings of the crosstown rivals.

Shane Prince, Thomas Hickey and Cal Clutterbuck also scored, helping the Islanders to the victory in both teams' first game after their respective five-day byes. Jordan Eberle had four assists in the Isles' highest scoring game of the season, and Halak stopped 37 shots.

''Just one of those nights where everything kind of finds its way into the back of the net,'' said Barzal, who leads NHL rookies with 29 assists and 44 points. ''It was a great team effort honestly.''

The Islanders won their second straight after a season-high five-game losing streak, and coach Doug Weight credited Halak's play, especially early in the third period when the Rangers picked up their intensity.

''When they were blitzing us ... he came up with big save after big save in a four- to five-minute span and kind of defeated them a little bit,'' Weight said. ''Those are the flurries, those are the saves he was absolutely in charge of his game.''

Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, who have lost three of four. Ondrej Pavelec was pulled in the second period after giving up five goals on 19 shots, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 16 saves.

''Mostly I am just disappointed. ... Points mean a lot right now,'' Lundqvist said. ''We have to regroup here because it's another big one tomorrow (at Pittsburgh). I think the biggest thing right now is not trying to find an answer in everything. You just have to go to yourself right now, try to play your best game to try to help the group, and not figure out everything.''

The Rangers had a two-man advantage for 18 seconds about seven minutes into the third, but came up empty.

Zibanejad, standing on the left doorstep, then redirected Mats Zuccarello's shot from the left circle past Halak for his 14th goal, making it 5-2 at 9:05. Zuccarello got his 200th career assist on the play.

Hickey restored the Islanders' four-goal lead when his centering pass to Beauvillier from the right side deflected in off Zuccarello's skate with 3:52 left. Clutterbuck made it 7-2 with his eighth of the season and fourth goal in the last four games with 1:05 remaining.

''I was really impressed with our lineup right through,'' Weight said ''It was an excellent win.''

The Islanders grabbed control with four straight goals after Hayes tied it at 1 at 14:25 of the first.

Prince scored his first goal of the season two minutes after Hayes' power-play goal. The Isles then scored three more in the second.

Barzal made it 3-1 just 37 seconds into the period on a backhander past Pavelec and into the top right corner. He then scored his 15th of the season when he knocked in the rebound of his own shot at 4:11.

Beauvillier got his second of the game and seventh of the season when he beat Pavelec from the left circle at 6:51. The Rangers then pulled Pavelec and sent in Lundqvist, drawing cheers from the crowd and chants of ''Hen-rik! Hen-rik!''

NOTES: LW Michael Dal Colle made his NHL debut for the Islanders. ... Injured forwards Josh Bailey, selected to his first All-Star appearance earlier in the week, and Andrew Ladd were out of the Islanders' lineup for the second straight game. ... Islanders F Casey Cizikas left with an upper-body injury in the second period. Weight said Cizikas' status was ''not great'' and he would not travel with the team to Montreal. ... The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout at MSG on Oct. 19. The teams play two more times - both at Barclays Center - on Feb. 15 and April 5. ... The Rangers scored a power-play goal for the third time in five games, but are just 3 for 30 over their last 10 games.

UP NEXT

Rangers: At Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Islanders: At Montreal on Monday night.

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Follow Vin Cherwoo at www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP

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More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

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