Nylander planted himself in front of Rick DiPietro during an overtime power play and knocked the puck in with only 48.9 seconds showing. It gave the Rangers their fifth straight victory and moved them past idle Tampa Bay into sixth place in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff chase.
The Islanders, playing their eighth game since Simon was suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs for his two-handed stick swing at Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg on March 8, got a point and jumped into a three-way tie for eighth place with Montreal and Carolina.
Unlike Saturday when the Rangers had to kill off a penalty for over a minute in overtime at Boston, they went on the power play with 1:13 remaining when Islanders defenceman Sean Hill hooked Jaromir Jagr. After Nylander netted his 23rd of the season, Hill jawed at the officials when he came out of the box.
DiPietro was sharp in making 32 saves, but he angrily backhanded the puck out of his net as the Rangers celebrated their sixth 2-1 victory in 11 games – including three over the Islanders – at centre ice.
Henrik Lundqvist is a big reason why the Rangers completed consecutive 2-1 road wins on back-to-back days. He stopped 34 shots after making 40 saves in an overtime victory Saturday.
Colton Orr, Hollweg’s hard-hitting linemate, scored his second NHL goal and first in 18 games in the second period. Alexei Yashin tied it for the Islanders with a power-play goal in the third.