NEW YORK — Alexandar Georgiev made 29 saves for his first NHL shutout and the New York Rangers ended an eight-game losing streak against the New York Islanders with a 5-0 win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
The Rangers (12-8-2), who have won seven in a row at home, hadn’t defeated the Islanders since Oct. 13, 2016. They had one win against them since Dec. 2, 2015, a span of 13 games.
“I think eventually when you lose so often to someone you’re going to win one eventually,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “The odds just were in our favor. I think usually when you do break through and win a game, it usually happens like that. That’s a good hockey team. That’s a really good hockey team, and we were very opportunistic tonight. I thought they had some Grade A’s where they missed the net. It could have been a different game. I’m certainly not ignorant to that. We’ll take it, that’s for sure.”
[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Rangers highlights]
Filip Chytil scored for the fifth straight game. He is the first Rangers rookie to have a five-game goal scoring streak since Petr Prucha scored in six straight during the 2005-06 season. Chytil, 19, is the 20th teenager in NHL history with a five-game goal scoring streak.
“It’s something special,” Chytil said, “and I’m happy that we beat the Islanders after a long time.”
Cody McLeod, Neal Pionk, Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider also scored. Kevin Shattenkirk and Mika Zibanejad each had two assists.
The Rangers are 9-1-1 since Oct. 30.
“If you’re not working hard, [Quinn] doesn’t play you, so it’s a trickle-down effect for sure,” Hayes said. “We have guys that are out of the lineup that are good players. He demands hard work and I think that’s the biggest factor in the 9-1-1. We’re getting good goaltending and we’re not a fun team to play against.”
The Islanders (10-8-2) have been outscored 11-2 in losing back-to-back games against the Dallas Stars on Sunday and the Rangers. They are 2-4-1 since Nov. 5.
Robin Lehner made 22 saves.
“The last two games have been awful and we’ve got to figure out a way in the next day and a half here to be ready to go against [the New Jersey Devils],” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “That first 20 minutes has got to be good. Tonight, down 3-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game, you really put yourself against the wall.”
The Rangers needed 8:04 to take a 3-0 lead.
Chytil scored from below the right face-off circle at 29 seconds to give them a 1-0 lead. He tried to pass to Hayes in the slot, but the puck came back to him. He quickly put it past Lehner, into the short side.
“He’s scoring right now and it’s impressive,” Hayes said. “It’s a tough league to score goals in and he’s doing it at will right now. I think if he sticks with it and keeps working hard, doesn’t get complacent, he’ll be a great player.”
McLeod scored his first of the season on a deflection of defenseman Tony DeAngelo‘s shot to make it 2-0 at 3:35. Pionk scored a power-play goal with a slap shot from the point to extend the lead to 3-0 at 8:04.
“The execution and details early weren’t good,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We dug ourselves a hole.”
Hayes gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead at 17:17 of the second period when he skated into the slot untouched after receiving a drop pass from Shattenkirk, deked to his backhand and beat Lehner.
Kreider made it 5-0 with a shot off the rush from the left circle at 16:19 of the third period.
“We were going with our style, how we want to play,” Chytil said, “and finally we beat them.”
They said it
“We can’t put it on one thing. It’s all of us, all four lines. We’ve got to be ready to roll, especially on the road in an environment like this where it’s a big important game. We have to be the ones that set the tone and dictate the play, and tonight they did that.” — Islanders captain Anders Lee
“It couldn’t be better. Great time to get a shutout. Big win for the boys against our rival team. I’m just very happy and thankful for the team. They played great defense today.” — Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev
Need to know
It was the Islanders’ first loss of the season inside the Metropolitan Division (7-1-0). … Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck was a late scratch because of an illness. … McLeod sustained a hand injury, likely during a fight with Ross Johnston at 9:32 of the first period. He left the game and did not return. … Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei played 17:28 in his first game back after being scratched the previous two games. He replaced defenseman Brendan Smith, who was a healthy scratch.
Islanders: At the New Jersey Devils on Friday (4 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)
Rangers: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday (1 p.m. ET; NBC)