Islanders take another win before facing rivals

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Islanders take another win before facing rivals

Through ups and downs, the New York Islanders have beaten four straight teams that likely won’t be joining them in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Up next, however, is another matchup with the New York Rangers. Even though their biggest rivals have lost all three meetings with them, the Islanders know that more will be at stake Monday.

“Obviously a huge one,’’ said Islanders captain John Tavares, who had two goals and two assists in a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. “We know what the atmosphere will be like.’’

The Islanders have been thriving at home, winning the first three of a four-game home stand and five of six overall.

Their previous five games had all been decided by one goal, but a three-goal outburst in the third period provided breathing room against the Blue Jackets, who had already rallied twice to tie the game.

“For the most part we dictated that game,’’ Tavares said. “Even though they fought back and got into it, we seemed to keep the momentum and not let them really try to turn the tide.’’

Josh Bailey scored two goals in the first period, both set up by Tavares, and Anders Lee had four assists for New York. Ryan Strome and Frans Nielsen also scored, and Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves.

Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, and Nick Foligno had goals for Columbus, which beat Philadelphia at home on Friday.

AP

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