Battle Of The Goaltenders At Nassau Coliseum NY Rangers 1 NY Islanders 0

The Isles came out very strong in the first few minutes of the first period of probably one of the most important games in recent Islander history.

The old barn was sold out with fans of both teams. It was so loud, and the fans who were there were in for a really great hockey game. Of course, I would be happier if the Isles had won the game, but they played very well and at least came out of it with a point.

The Isles still sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference, one point above the 8th Rangers. However, the Rangers have a game in hand, so this will be a battle right up to the last game of the season. Photo: Robert Kowal/Flickr

The first period play was fast and hard hitting, as is usual when these 2 cross town rivals play each other.

At 12:14 of the first there was a bit of a scrum, sending Aaron Asham to the penalty box for roughing and Colin McDonald for elbowing. The refs did not call many penalties, and let the teams play. Score 0-0 after the first period.

One of the important things to note in the second period was the way John Tavares played. He takes a pretty good beating every game because he is always the opponents prime target.

During the second period last night Tavares toughness came out. He is always strong on the puck, but he was also strong in the checking department. I saw him fight back quite a bit last night, he even took a roughing penalty. 

With so much on the line last night, it was probably not wise to take that penalty, but I enjoyed seeing JT fight back. Score remained the same after two.

The entire game was like watching one long overtime, as both teams had some great chances at both ends of the ice. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, nail biting.Photo: Robert Kowal/flickr

So in the end the score still 0-0, OT begins with the Isles down a man on a carry over penalty on Okposo from the third. Ridiculous call with one minute left in the game, especially since  the refs let so many things go last night.

The Islanders killed off the penalty and both teams had some great chances. The game could have gone either way, and I felt that the Isles did carry most of the play.

However, it was not to be our win. At 3:11 of the OT Dan Girardi scored and just that quick, it was over. Assists went to Derek Brassard and Michael Del Zotto.

Although the scoreboard said 1-0 Rangers, the Isles were not losers here. They played an incredibly strong game and you can see and feel the teamwork and the comradery. 

This Islander team has come a long way.

Three Stars of the Game:

Henrik Lundqvist

Dan Girardi

Evgeni Nabokov

Other notes:

SOG: 29-20 Isles

PP's Isles 2 rangers 4 with no conversions

FO: 32-22 Isles

Hits:20-19 Isles

Blocked shots: 21-15 Rangers

-Jane Fisher