A struggling New York Islanders team took to the Madison Square Garden ice tonight to face-off against a struggling New York Rangers team, something had to give, right?
The Islanders took the game and won by a score of 5-3 in what was quite the contest, which included three PP goals being scored, two shorthanded goals, and a tally that came on a controversial penalty shot.
The refs certainly did not do a good job of officiating tonight as they botched/messed up many calls for both sides. However, this can’t be blamed on officiating. The loss translates to the current play we are seeing out of this NYR team right now.
Within the final ten minutes of the first period, those two shorthanded goals I mentioned earlier scored by Cal Clutterbuck and Michael Grabner gave the visitors a 2-0 lead, and things seemed to be looking up for the Isles. Until Benoit Pouliot answered on the PP and made the game 2-1 as both teams headed into the locker room to end the first.
In the second period and for the third game in a row, we saw the Rangers once again overcome adversity and take a 3-2 lead off of goals scored by Derek Dorsett and Derek Stepan (PPG). Things were looking good for the Blueshirts and rightly so, they once again wiped away a 2-0 deficit and turned the game around in their favor.
In the third period however, everything collapsed. Thomas Vanek scored a powerplay goal which would eventually become the game-winner, as Grabner finished it off with his second of the game on an empty-net. The Isles won the game 5-3.
Including this loss, the Rangers are now 1-4-2 throughout the first seven games of their homestand, while the win for the Isles was only their second in the last 15 games.
The Rangers did not play bad by any means, but they did buckle when it mattered most. They gave the Islanders some prime opportunities and they capitalized when it mattered most.
What we have seen from this Rangers team so far this season has been far from pretty, it has been frustrating and disappointing, to say the least.
The roster just isn’t there. They don’t have enough skill to compete with other teams right now. There were some signs of encouragement from the game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, but all of that was certainly wiped clean tonight with a heart-felt defeat at MSG.
The Rangers will get a day off tomorrow, then come back to face the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
Here are my personal three stars from the game: