The Rangers knew all about their long-running struggles in Brooklyn. Any win over the Islanders these days was going to be welcome.
Mats Zuccarello’s well-placed skate sent the Rangers happily back to Manhattan.
Zuccarello scored late in the third period, redirecting a shot from the point with his foot to lift the Rangers over the Islanders, 2-1, on Saturday for their first victory at Barclays Center since the Islanders began playing home games there in 2015. Filip Chytil also scored and Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves.
The Islanders had been 13-2-0 in the teams’ previous 15 meetings over all.
“We didn’t talk about it before the game or anything, but I was well aware,” Marc Staal said. “It was nice to see that goal go in during the third and us able to hang on and get a win.”
The Rangers had been 0-6-1 in their previous seven games in Brooklyn, with their only point coming on Dec. 2, 2015, in a shootout loss.
“We have to string a few more like this together,” Brady Skjei said. “Keep building off this one and get back in the playoff hunt.”
The game completed a home-and-home between the Islanders and Rangers, which began on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. It also marked the final meeting between the city rivals this season, with each team winning two games.
Saturday’s win was the first for the Rangers in 2019. They had been 0-5-0 since the start of January and scored three or more goals just once in that stretch.
“We were determined to get a win here finally,” Mika Zibanejad said.
Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders and Robin Lehner made 24 saves in his second consecutive start.
“I thought our game was way better than it was last game,” Islanders Coach Barry Trotz said. “We weren’t able to capitalize on some of our chances.”
Beauvillier broke a scoreless tie at 8 minutes 40 seconds of the second period. He took a pass from Josh Bailey near the side of the net, quickly spun around and slid the puck past Georgiev.
The goal came moments after the Islanders’ Nick Leddy hit the post with a backhand.
Chytil evened it at 14:09 after an Islanders turnover in the neutral zone. The goal was his seventh of the season and came just after the Islanders killed off a five-on-three advantage for the Rangers.
DEVILS 3, FLYERS 2 The rookie Mackenzie Blackwood returned to the lineup after missing three games with an injury and made 32 saves in leading the Devils over visiting Philadelphia. Damon Severson, Nico Hischier and Miles Wood scored as the Devils won for the second time in six games and handed the Flyers their ninth loss in 10 games (1-7-2).
James Van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier scored for Philadelphia. Carter Hart gave the Flyers a chance, making 23 saves.
The game between the struggling Eastern Conference teams was a matchup of two young goaltenders who have played well since being called up from the minor leagues because of injuries. The 22-year-old Blackwood is 4-2 in nine games. He has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his appearances.
The 20-year-old Hart is 3-5-1 in nine games for the Flyers.
Blackwood, who missed the three games with a lower-body injury and was activated from injured reserve before the game, was a little better, especially in the third period, when the Flyers played with desperation after falling behind, 3-1.