Andrew Copp leads charge as Rangers double up Islanders 6-3
The New York Rangers made their second visit to the Islanders new home UBS Arena and were looking to close out the season series with a win. Coming in they wanted to make sure to continue playing solid hockey from start to finish. What happened in the opening 20 minutes was spectacular.
Andrew Copp, who has never had a single point in 12 career games against the Isles scored a natural hat trick in the first period.
“Kind of everything going your way,” Copp said during the intermission. “Three passes only made by elite players and I was lucky enough to finish on them.”
When it was over, the Rangers dominated as they were led by Artemi Panarin’s four assists to double up the Isles 6-3.
The victory keeps them even with the Carolina Hurricanes for first place and locks up home-ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Recap: Rangers 6 vs Islanders 3
Andrew Copp recorded a natural hat trick in the first period as the New York Rangers rolled to a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday in Elmont, N.Y.
The Rangers (51-21-6, 108 points) clinched at least second place in the Metropolitan Division. They are tied with the Hurricanes in points, but Carolina currently holds the tiebreaker edge with one more regulation win.
Copp joined Don Raleigh (1948) and Kelly Kisio (1986) as the third player in team history to record a hat trick in the first period. He also joined Raleigh as the second Ranger to register a natural hat trick in the first period.
Copp recorded his second career hat trick by scoring twice in a span of 4:05 and again late in the opening period as the Rangers improved to 11-2-1 since March 25.
Chris Kreider scored his league-leading 26th power-play goal while Ryan Strome and Ryan Reaves also scored for the Rangers.
Artemi Panarin collected four assists and ended the night at 96 points, surpassing the career high of 95 set in his first season with the Rangers in 2019-20. Adam Fox contributed three assists.
Rangers backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves and won his seventh straight start.
Brock Nelson scored twice, and Josh Bailey had a goal and an assists for the Islanders (35-32-10, 80 points), who lost their third straight.
Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves.
Andrew Copp picks up the Natural
Copp opened the scoring 3:43 in when he flew down the right wing, got a backhanded pass from Panarin through the slot and whipped a one-timer into the net. It was also the 200th point of his career.
Copp scored his second goal came off another Panarin feed, as he made it 2-0 with a wrist shot from below the right faceoff circle.
Copp got the hat trick with 1:47 remaining in the first by finishing off a give-and-go with Strome.
Rangers dominate the Islanders
Nelson’s one-timer 37 seconds into the middle period ended the Rangers’ shutout streak at 200 minutes, 43 seconds.
Kreider put home a rebound on a power play which now gives him 51 goals on the year.
Strome fired a long wrister just 1:52 after Kreider’s tally. It was his 20th goal of the season, a career high.
“I never put statistical goals for myself but I’ve finished with 17, 18, 19 goal seasons so it’s nice to get one,” Strome said.
Nelson’s second of the night came on a power play early in the third period before Reaves and Bailey traded goals in the middle of the final frame.
- Alexandar Georgiev won his 7th straight game (26 saves)
- Andrew Copp registered a natural hat trick, he has 18 points in 15 games with Rangers
- Artemi Panarin picked up 4 assists setting a new career high in points at 96
- Ryan Strome notched his first 20 goals season, also added an assist
- Adam Fox recorded 3 assists, now has 72 points on the year
Tomorrow (Friday, April 22): Practice at MSG Training Center (12:00 PM ET)
Next Game: Saturday, April 23 at Boston Bruins (3:00 PM ET – TV: ABC)
*Schedule subject to change
–Field Level Media contributed to this article.