Isles Drop Third Straight Game To The Rangers

The New York Islanders visited their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, last night for the first time this season. Despite out shooting the Rangers 28-25, the Isles came up short for their third loss in a row and were defeated 4-1 at Madison Square Garden.

Playing in only his second NHL game, J.T. Miller put the Rangers on the board first. At 1:29 of the first period, Miller capitalized on an Isles turnover in the neutral zone and put one past Evgeni Nabakov.

Later on in the first, the Blueshirts would strike again.Image preview

After Isles defenseman Brian Strait broke his stick, the Rangers controlled the puck in Islander territory for far too long. Marian Gaborik netted his sixth goal of the season after picking up a loose rebound, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead going into the locker room. (Photo Credit: dbostrom/flickr)

Halfway through the second, the Islanders tallied their first and only goal of the evening.

Joe Finley got his first NHL point after poking the puck to Matt Mouslon, who fed John Tavares and started a 3-on-2 rush. Tavares deked and wristed one high over the glove of Henrik Lundqvist, giving him his 5th goal of the year and cutting the deficit to one.

However, J.T. Miller and the Rangers had an answer before the second period ended.

After Matt Moulson uncharacteristically took an interference penalty, Ryan McDonagh sent Miller speeding up the slot to score once again on Nabakov, giving the Rangers their fourth power play goal of the season.

It seems as if the Islanders success with special teams this season has been severely short-lived. After going 0-14 on the power play in their last two games, the Isles went an additional 0-5 against the Rangers, bringing them down to 14th in the league.

The Islanders had plenty of chances to close the gap throughout the game but could not convert. Michael Grabner had a breakaway of his own on which he could not beat the stone-cold Lundqvist.

With two minutes remaining in the third, the Rangers once again intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, giving Ryan McDonagh an empty net and the last goal of the game.

With the win over the Isles, the Rangers pass them in the standings for third in the division. The two New York rivals will face off again on Valentines Day, where the Isles will try to break an 8-game losing streak at the Garden.

The Islanders, who have lost their last three games to division rivals, will face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at the Nassau Coliseum. It will be first of three meetings between the two teams this season.

-T.J. Weber 


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