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Panarin scores tying goal, shootout winner as Rangers edge Islanders

NEW YORK —  Artemi Panarin scored late in the third period to tie game and tallied the shootout winner as the New York Rangers rallied to defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 for a franchise-record 54th win on Saturday.

Igor Shesterkin made 34 saves, Braden Schneider scored a short-handed goal and Vincent Trocheck ended the shootout with another goal as the Rangers inched closer to winning the Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's best regular-season record.

"I think it says a lot. They should be proud of it," Laviolette said of the wins record. "This team was able to battle hard. We still have a lot of work to do."

Panarin scored to the open the shootout against Ilya Sorokin. After Kyle Palmieri hit the post and Brock Nelson was stopped by Shesterkin, Trocheck ended the exciting game between the long-time rivals with a shot into the lower corner of the net that ended the Islanders' six game winning streak.

"It was a really emotional game, very intense and a lot of fun,'' Schneider said after the Rangers rallied to win for the 28th time this season.

Nelson had scored twice in the second period to put the Islanders ahead 2-1 but Panarin scored his 48th goal with 4:17 remaining to tie the game and help the Rangers end a two-game slide.

The Islanders are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games and moved closer to clinching a playoff spot, thanks to their late-season surge under Patrick Roy who replaced Lane Lambert as head coach on Jan. 20. The Islanders are third in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points and two games remaining.

"It was hard-fought game. We had really good chances in that third period to make it a 3-1 game," Roy said. "We've picked up points in seven straight games and that's a good point for us."

Sorokin finished with 41 saves.

Schneider put the Rangers ahead with a short-handed goal early in the middle period, Nelson scored in close at 11:42 and then put the Islanders ahead with 28 seconds remaining on a rebound. Palmieri and Hudson Fasching assisted on both goals.

"It was a good rebound, it came right back to me and I slid it home,'' Schneider said of his fortuitous goal.

Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech had a chance to add an insurance goal on a penalty shot with 6:56 left in the third but was denied by Shesterkin, who also stopped Mat Barzal with a windmill save late in overtime.

Panarin leads the Rangers with 118 points and has points in a franchise-record 66 of the Rangers' 81 games this season. He has points in 12 straight games.

"Amazing player, game-changer with a laser shot,'' Shesterkin said of Panarin's offensive prowess.

The Rangers lead the Carolina Hurricanes by three points in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers play their home finale on Monday against Ottawa while the Hurricanes have two games left. They will win the division if Carolina loses one of their remaining two games.

The Rangers have 112 points to tie the 1993-94 team - which won the Stanley Cup - for second-most in team history.

They can clinch the Presidents' Trophy - also won in 2015 when they finished with 53 wins and 113 points - with a win over Ottawa on Monday.

The Islanders were without top defenseman Noah Dobson, who missed the contest with an upper-body injury sustained in Tuesday's overtime home win over Montreal. Dobson had played all 79 previous games this season and leads the Islanders with 60 assists.

Rangers forward Matt Rempe was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous two games and six of the past eight contests.

Up Next:

Rangers: Hosting Ottawa Senators on Monday.

Islanders: Visiting New Jersey Devils on Monday.

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