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Rangers rise in the East after easing past Islanders

(Reuters) - Carl Hagelin scored twice to help lift the New York Rangers to the top of the Eastern Conference with a 3-0 win over city rivals the Islanders on Monday.

The Rangers returned from a two-day break to win their fifth game in a row and move a point ahead of the Boston Bruins, although it's a lofty position that New York are refusing to get carried away with.

"Doesn't mean anything to me," Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters. "How many games have we played? I don't care about Boston or anybody else. We haven't even gone halfway through the year."

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves for the shutout, while his Islanders counterpart Evgeni Nabokov also stopped 28 shots in a losing effort.

Hagelin put the Rangers (22-8-4) ahead early in the second period then made it 2-0 early in the third.

"Both of those goals were just me kind of coasting toward the net while the other guys were doing a good job," Hagelin said. "I came in late and found the puck."

Marian Gaborik netted his league-leading 22nd goal of the season late in the third period to send the Islanders to their third straight defeat.

Gaborik has scored in his last five games and has seven goals in that stretch to match his goal tally from all of last season.

The Islanders have had trouble finding the net with frequency and are currently last in the East with an 11-17-6 record.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)