Anders Lee had a goal and an assist as the visiting New York Islanders recorded a 4-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
The first of eight meetings between the rivals easily went to the Islanders, who scored twice in the opening 3:52 and held a three-goal lead after the first period.
Brock Nelson scored a power-play goal and Mathew Barzal also scored for the Islanders. Jordan Eberle also scored a power-play goal while Nick Leddy collected two assists for the Islanders, who were 2 of 8 on the power play.
Semyon Varlamov began his second season with the Islanders by making 24 saves. Varlamov was seldom tested and posted his 28th career regular-season shutout.
The Rangers played their first game without Henrik Lundqvist on the opening-night roster since the 2005-06 season.
Igor Shesterkin experienced a rough season debut while making 29 saves. He became the 10th Ranger rookie goaltender to start a season opener and first since 1981.
Shesterkin withstood a collision in the crease with 11:15 remaining. After making a diving save on Lee, Eberle crashed into him and following a visit from trainer Jim Ramsay, Shesterkin stayed in.
The Islanders jumped out ahead 2:33 on their first power play when Nelson deflected a shot by Anthony Beauvillier from the left circle into the net. Just 79 seconds later, Lee decided against heading to the bench on a line change and slid a wrist shot over Shesterkin’s right glove on a 2-on-1.
Barzal made it 3-0 with 6:09 left in the first by sliding a backhander from near the left circle under Rangers’ defenseman Tony DeAngelo’s skate and past Shesterkin.
Eberle made it 4-0 with 5:06 remaining in the second when his long drive from near the blue line eluded Shesterkin’s stick. The goal was originally credited to Lee but was credited to Eberle during the second intermission.
The Islanders appeared to take a 5-0 lead with 11:15 remaining when Ryan Pulock jammed in a loose puck off a scramble, but after the Rangers challenged for goaltender’s interference officials overturned it.
Before the Islanders took a four-goal lead, the Rangers appeared to score with 10:45 left in the second when defenseman Jacob Trouba jammed in a loose puck, but officials lost sight of the puck, waved it off and confirmed it on a replay review.