1 Total Update since March 15, 2011
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
For about 10 minutes into the second period -- after the New York Rangers blew a 2-0 lead to the New York Islanders just four minutes in -- the momentum had shifted away from the Blueshirts and it appeared they were prime candidates to squander two more crucial points. Then the floodgates opened, as the Rangers scored four unanswered goals, propelling them to a 6-3 victory.
Much of the game was the hockey equivalent of a track meet -- a lot of fast-paced action, mostly controlled by the Rangers, but certainly ample scoring chances for the Isles. Though the Rangers outshot the Isles, 47-28, there were times that the Rangers defense was a little too relaxed, specifically on the two goals the Islanders would score in the second period less than three minutes apart, one by Matt Moulson and the second by P.A. Parenteau off a splendid feed by John Tavares.
The Rangers' special teams play was excellent tonight: 3-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. An early goal by Brandon Prust, his fifth on the penalty kill, began the scoring -- and at 14:52 Erik Christensen snapped a wicked wrist shot past Al Montoya for the 2-0 first-period lead. The Rangers would then be a little to "loose" on defense in the first half of the second period and the Islanders would capitalize to knot the game at two apiece.
But then, all of a sudden, it clicked for good. Ryan Callahan put home his 21st of the season on a pretty feed from Artem Anisimov, Marian Gaborik scored on the power play and Brian McCabe fired a shot on the man advantage 49 seconds before the second period's completion to give the Blueshirts a commanding 5-2 lead. Gaborik would score again in the third period, his third in four games, as what appeared to have the potential for a devastating loss turned into a a good old fashioned whooping for the home team at Madison Square Garden. Tavares would score a meaningless power-play goal for the Islanders with less than five minutes left in the game.
Besides just the two points in the standings, there was a lot to like about this game. First and foremost, Gaborik's assertiveness on the offensive side: two goals and seven shots on goal. Christensen, who was very engaged and has nine points in his past seven games played, with a goal and an assist. Callahan also continues to be a force on the offensive side of things with 19 points in 18 games since his return from injury. And Henrik Lundqvist was superb in goal when he needed to be. Add all of this to a power play that was 60 percent effective and the Rangers earned two very important points ... considering the Devils won again, and the Hurricanes won as well.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) - The NHL's New York clubs will resume their rivalry tonight, as the Rangers host the Islanders in an Atlantic Division clash at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers are locked in a tight battle for a playoff spot and they enter tonight tied with Buffalo for the final two postseason seeds in the Eastern Conference. The clubs are four points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, who are visiting the Sabres tonight at HSBC Arena.
The Islanders, meanwhile, are seeded 14th in the East and are 11 points behind the Rangers with just 12 games remaining in the regular season.
The Rangers have won three straight against the Isles after dropping the opener of the season series. The Blueshirts have taken five of six overall and the Isles have dropped three in a row and five out of seven at MSG.
The last time these clubs met was on Dec. 27 at the Garden and the Rangers blasted the Isles, 7-2.
The Rangers have won three of their last four games and are coming off Saturday's shootout victory in San Jose. Brandon Dubinsky scored in the sixth round of the deciding phase, lifting the Blueshirts to the 3-2 win at HP Pavilion.
Vinny Prospal added an assist on Saturday to push his point streak to six games. He has one goal and six helpers during the run.
The Islanders were dealt an overtime loss Saturday in New Jersey, but they also earned a point for the seventh straight game (4-0-3). Anssi Salmela scored with 1:51 left in OT to give New Jersey the 3-2 decision.
Al Montoya, a former first-round pick of the Rangers, is expected to make his first appearance against his former franchise tonight. The 26-year-old goaltender never played at the NHL level for the Rangers before being traded to Phoenix during the 2007-08 season.
Lundqvist will likely get the call in net for the Rangers. He is 3-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average against the Isles this season and 20-9-5 with a 2.11 GA in his career versus them.