The RIVALRY HOME-and-HOME SERIES
NEW YORK ISLANDERS 0
NEW YORK RANGERS 2
Blueshirts Sweep Home-and-Home Series; win 2-0 tonight.
New York Rangers: Coach Torts Defends Sean Avery.
I can only guess that was Larry Brooks (NHL writer; NYDN) in the back of the room who said something about Sean Avery. I don't know if it was Larry for sure, but it's usually him who gets Torts all bent out of shape just by showing up, much less questioning Coach about Avery.
After a near-perfect game by Sean Avery last night, he followed up tonight with far from perfect play. That might be a bit harsh. Guys in Stripes send him to the box for just looking at somebody the wrong way. His over-all game tonight was still relatively solid.
But whatever the matter that may have been between Torts and the reporter who tweaked Coach's patience, it was outstanding to see and hear Coach Torts defend Sean Avery and acknowledge his play this year with conviction, as no doubt, "some" reporter may have been trying to strike while the Avery iron was hot. It wasn't to be so. Torts unplugged that questioning post haste in defense of his maligned player.
Broadway Blueshirts: Henrik and Defense "Score" Shut-Out Over Islanders.
SWEEP! Rangers win both games of the Home and Home Series.
Rangers' Defenseman Marc Staal scored a Power Play goal, assisted by Stepan, with 15:26 left in the 2nd period. That's all the Rangers could muster offensively tonight during 59:58 of regulation play. That's all Henrik Lundqvist would need. On the heals of giving up two goals to these Islanders in relief of Marty Biron midway through the 2nd period of last night's game in Long Island, King Henrik ruled tonight's 60 minutes in MSG allowing no goals during game two, of the back-to-back set.
The Numbers on Henrik ~ Tonight's 2-0 Shut-Out:
* No shots against in the first 15 minutes of the game.
* 17 saves.
* 3rd career shut-out versus Islanders.
* 4th shut-out of season.
* 28th shut-out of career.
This game got a little chippy at times but over-all it was a tightly contested match with good defensive efforts by both teams. Islander Goalie-ROLOSON received the game's third star. Rick DiPietro did not follow-up last night's stinker against the team he loves to hate. He sat out tonight. Shame.
With two seconds left in the game, Brian Boyle scored an empty net goal assisted by Dubinsky and Callahan, to make the final score 2-0 Rangers; and with the victory, the series sweep.
Tonight's defensive gem was a 180 degree turn from last night's action filled affair the Rangers won by a score of 6-5.
For the Islanders?...More streaks. ~ After snapping their 14 game losing streak, they've started another streak losing their last two in a row to us, further cementing their place in the NHL cellar.
You can catch up with last night's game blog, opinions about the rivalries with the Islanders and PITT, and everything I've been saying since we lost to the Penguins leading up to these two games HERE "Rivalry On Thin Ice".