NHL: NY Rangers 6, NY Islanders 2

Feb. 19, 2004 at 10:26 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The New York Rangers scored three times in the opening 18 minutes Thursday night en route to a fight-filled, 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders.

The Rangers began the night 13 points beind the Islanders in the Eastern Conference, but improved to 5-0 in the season series, grabbing two three-goal leads before putting away the game in the third period.

Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr and Petr Nedved each had a goal and an assist over the opening 40 minutes as the Rangers built a 5-2 lead. Goaltender Mike Dunham made a series of critical saves to maintain the momentum.

Alexei Kovalev and Bobby Holik scored less than two minutes apart in the opening 6:34 of the third to turn the game into a rout.

The last 3:54 featured 92 minutes in penalties, including three fights and four game misconducts.

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