From the desks of:
RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS and BROOKLYN'S FOSTER HOCKEY CLUB
NY Rangers 1
NY Islanders 4
Look what the Islanders did to the Rangers..., again!
For a third straight time, the Islanders dispatched the Rangers by a decisive 3-goal margin, and over the trio of games have outscored the Rangers by a 13-4 discrepancy.
Jaroslav Halak posted his 26th win of the season, and ALMOST registered his second straight shutout over the Rangers. With 40 saves, his whitewashing was all but secured. Then Carl Hagelin scored with 0:10 left in the game.
Give credit to the Rangers for landing the first hit of the game, and for trying to match Long Island's physicality in the early going. The Islanders even let the Rangers utilize some of their speed and passing for a bit.
By the midway point of the 1st period, however, the Islanders started weighing on the Blueshirts, and wound up out-hitting the Rangers 46-35 in the game.
Once again it was Tanner Glass administering the Rangers limited toughness when Marc Staal and Matt Martin came face to face. In the 2nd period, Kevin Klein did a nice job protecting his goalie from an overzealous Islander. In fact, the Rangers and Islanders came together several times throughout the game. For the Rangers, however, to no avail.
The Rangers face-off woes continued as well, getting out done by a 38-24 clip.
This was the Islanders first game post Kyle Okposo injury.
At the 18:05 mark of the 1st period, John Tavares' new line-mate, Mikhail Grabovski, finally put the Islanders on the scoreboard with his 7th goal of the season.
The Islanders 4th line made it 2-0 in the 2nd period. At the 4:11 mark, Cal Clutterbuck's pass from behind net exploited the Rangers lack of accountability in front of Lundqvist. Matt Martin converted the feed for his 7th goal of the season.
Despite out-shooting the Isles 18-11 in the 2nd period, the Rangers averted a 3-0 deficit when the Isles struck a crossbar with 8:30 to go.
No matter, six minutes into the 3rd period Ryan Strome scored his 9th goal of the season (with help from Ryan McDonagh), and roughly ten minutes after that, John Tavares scored on a power play.
The Islanders increased their Metro Division lead over the Rangers to 7 points. They lead the NHL with 32 victories, but are now tied with the Detroit Red Wings with 65 points for the Eastern Conference lead.