The Rangers drafted Al Montoya in the first round in 2004, and though he never played a game for the Blueshirts before he was traded to Phoenix in 2008, it appeared that they had the book on their former prospect Tuesday night. Erik Christensen, Marian Gaborik and Bryan McCabe all beat Montoya with power-play wrist shots high on the stick side, and the Rangers crushed the Islanders, 6-3. The Sabres' 1-0 loss to the Hurricanes meant the Rangers moved into sole possession of seventh place in the East, two points ahead of Buffalo and four up on Carolina. Both teams chasing the Blueshirts have a game in hand.

Gaborik added a second goal at even strength in the third to become the fourth Ranger this season with 20 goals. After leading the team with 42 in his first season on Broadway, Gaborik has been injury-plagued and inconsistent, but now has points in three straight games.

The first of Gaborik's goals came off a steal and feed from McCabe, whose goal on a 5-on-3 later in the second was his first in eight games as a Ranger. Since the Blueshirts acquired the former Islanders defenseman from the Panthers on Feb. 26, they have converted at a 24.1% clip on the power play, compared to a 17.2% rate before his arrival. "Special teams are huge," McCabe said. "They can win or lose you games, and tonight, they helped us win a game. You've got to be good on them, especially this time of year."