NEW YORK (AP) — Outside and inside, the New York Rangers got the best of the New York Islanders in a pair of decisive third periods.
Two nights after winning the Battle of New York in the frigid air at Yankee Stadium, the Rangers broke up a tie game in the warm confines of Madison Square Garden and dealt the sliding Islanders another loss, 4-1 on Friday.
Derick Brassard scored the go-ahead goal with 7:46 left. Brad Richards connected moments later, and Ryan McDonagh found an empty net with 1 second left.
"It was exciting to be back and play against this team again," said Henrik Lundqvist, who shined in making 38 saves. "We came out in the third and really made a big push. It's a great feeling when it pays off like that."
The Rangers played indoors for the first time in eight days, before their back-to-back outdoor wins over the New Jersey Devils and Islanders at Yankee Stadium. Brian Boyle added a first-period goal, and defenseman Marc Staal had two assists for the Rangers (30-23-3), who have won three straight and six of eight.
It didn't take long to get acclimated again to the great indoors.
"Other than not needing the Long Johns, I can't think of anything," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "It was a lot of fun outside, I hope we have the opportunity to do it again, but playing inside this building in front of our fans ... this is pretty good, too."
The Rangers took the lead for good while the teams skated 4-on-4. During a delayed penalty, Brassard took a cross-zone feed from Staal and fired a shot past Evgeni Nabokov to make it 2-1.
Richards provided insurance with 5:01 remaining and McDonagh pushed the lead to 4-1.
"We have found a certain comfort level with the way we're playing," Staal said. "We know what we have to do to win hockey games.
"We're comfortable going into the third period like that. We have guys that can make big plays at big times."
Brian Boyle gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period before Kyle Okposo tied it in the second.
The Rangers, who topped the Islanders 2-1 on Daniel Carcillo's third-period goal Wednesday night, won the season series 3-2. The teams met for the third time in 11 days.
Nabokov made 33 saves for the Islanders, who dropped their fifth straight (0-4-1) after winning seven of nine. They are last in the Metropolitan Division, 13 points behind the second-place Rangers.
"We ran out of gas a little," captain John Tavares said. "We've played a lot of hockey. We didn't seem to have that extra gear when we needed it.