Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Benoit Pouliot and Ryan McDonagh each tallied third-period goals to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-2 comeback victory over the New York Islanders in a showdown between the crosstown rivals from Nassau Coliseum.
Chris Kreider added a power-play goal and Derek Stepan chipped in two assists to help the Rangers bounce back from Monday's 2-0 loss to visiting Montreal. Cam Talbot turned aside 22 shots, including all eight he faced in the third period, to earn his second straight win between the pipes.
Cal Clutterbuck and Peter Regin scored in the Islanders' fourth consecutive home loss. Thomas Vanek, acquired by the Isles in a big trade with Buffalo on Sunday, had a quiet debut with his new team, recording just one shot on goal while playing on a line with captain John Tavares.
Evgeni Nabokov finished with 21 saves in the setback.
The Islanders found the net on two of their seven second-period shots to take a 2-1 edge into the third, but Talbot stepped up over the final 20 minutes as his teammates regained their scoring touch.
A penalty for too many men on ice gave the Rangers a power play 4:29 into the third period, and McDonagh delivered the equalizer 30 seconds later when his one-timer deflected off the Isles' Matt Martin and trickled past Nabokov.
Pouliot sent the Blueshirts in front with 6:14 left to play. Working a give- and-go with the just-activated Carl Hagelin, the Rangers winger fired a shot that beat Nabokov to the glove side for his second goal of the season.
"That'll give us a lot of confidence moving forward, to battle back from those deficits in the third period," said Talbot. "Especially when we've been struggling to find the back of the net recently."
Nabokov was pulled with just over a minute to go, but the Islanders failed to mount a shot on goal with the extra attacker.
"I thought we played decently, but it's the same mistakes," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano remarked. "We weren't poised enough with the puck; I thought we turned it over too many times there. We fell asleep on a too many men on the ice call. That's a lack of focus for me."
Despite managing just four shots over the initial 20 minutes, the Rangers owned a 1-0 lead after one period by converting their first power-play chance of the night. Stationed in front of the Islander net, Kreider lunged for a puck sent into the crease by Brad Richards and successfully put home a backhand try with 7 1/2 minutes left before the first break.
"We've worked a lot on our power play, talked a lot about it, and when you execute on something you've talked about and focused on specifically I think it's that much more rewarding," said Kreider.
Clutterbuck pulled the Islanders even by outracing the Rangers' Marc Staal to a puck dumped along the right boards, then placing a wrister up high over Talbot's glove 3:40 into the second period.
Nabokov, who stopped 15 shots during the middle session, came up with several tough saves to keep it a 1-1 game under the final minute of the period, when Regin chipped a rebound of teammate Andrew MacDonald's shot that was blocked in front towards the net. The shot went off Talbot's glove, as well as the side of Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, before crossing the line 40.5 seconds prior to the second intermission.