New York Islanders forward earl staggers into AHL opener

New York (AP) Islanders forward Earl Stefansson scored a goal and added an assist to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-4 win over the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday.

Stefansson had three shots on goal and two shots blocked for the Rangers (11-14-6).

They have won two in a row.

“I thought we got a lot of positives from the game,” said forward Michael Grabner.

“We got a couple chances but they were just not there.”

The Islanders have scored five goals or more in three straight games for the first time since March 6-13, 2010.

They have not lost four straight games since a 4-1 win over Columbus on Oct. 15, 2010, also in New York.

They are 3-1-1 in their past four games.

Defenseman Kevin Hayes was injured in the first period but returned for the second period.

The Islanders were without defenseman Josh Bailey, who is out for three-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

Forward Anders Lee scored the lone goal for the Crunch (15-12-8).

He had an assist on Stefansson’s first goal and had one on Tyler Toffoli’s third.