Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers vs Islanders: After the Horn

Final Score: New York Islanders: 5 New York Rangers: 3

First Period:
Remember last year when Rick Nash was “Mr. Third Period”? That’s just not the case anymore. Nash scored his 15th goal of the season just 1:02 into the game from a good setup by rookie Chris Kreider. The Rangers couldn’t carry the momentum of the goal, however, as Michael Del Zotto took an interference penalty shortly after the goal. The Islanders failed to convert on their early powerplay chance, but they did control the first ten minutes of the game. Thankfully for the Rangers, Cam Talbot was prepared for the Isles early surge and kept it a 1-0 game early on. After some back and forth action, Rick Nash found himself all alone on a breakaway from a beautiful pass by Dan Girardi and netted his second goal of the game and 16th on the season putting the Rangers up 2-0 with 8:53 remaining in the opening period. A few shifts later , Kreider was denied by Kevin Poulin on a semi-breakaway and then, shortly after, it was Matt Martin who got the Isles on the board with his third goal of the season, with 2:48 remaining in the period. Talbot was beat high glove side after Martin was perfectly set up by, Islanders captain, John Tavares. The Rangers got a late power play as Casey Cizikas took a hook on Dominic Moore, but the man advantage was quickly negated as Benoit Pouliot took a penalty 40 seconds into the power play. Kyle Okposo also took a late penalty, so the Rangers started off the second period with 40 seconds of four on four hockey and then went onto the power play for 1:20. The shots after the first period was 16-12 in favor of the Isles.

Second Period:

Nash tripped up Tavares 10 seconds into the period and took away the Ranger’s shot at a powerplay, which would have come after some four on four time. The Islanders started off the second period just as well as the first period, but Tavares took a high stick penalty on Ryan McDonagh and the Rangers got their second power play of the game. The Rangers had good puck possession throughout their first full power play, but they couldn’t find any open shooting lanes. However, shortly after the Rangers man advantage expired, Matt Martin took a roughing penalty and the Rangers put their power play unit back on the ice. This power play had a better ending as Kreider put away a rebound from a wrist shot by Derek Stepan. This was Kreider’s 13th goal on the year with assists from Stepan (23rd assist) and Brad Richards (25th assist). The Rangers, unfortunately, didn’t keep their energy up as Pouliot took his second penalty of the game right after the goal. The Islanders didn’t convert again, but shortly after, Thomas Hikcey scored a beautiful goal of a slick pass from Okposo to cut the Ranger’s lead to 3-2. The Islanders were able to sustain their pressure for most of the period and Colin McDonald was able to tie the game at three with his 4th goal on the year. The Rangers stormed back with multiple scoring chances to end the period, but it was Poulin who made the save of the game off of a shot by Nash who was looking for his first hat trick as a Ranger. The period came to a close with the game tied and the Islanders up in shots 23-20.

Third Period:
The Rangers started off the period well as McDonagh found an open lane, but Poulin’s glove had the answer. The Rangers came out more energized in the first few minutes of the final frame of the game, which was a good sign, because they were flat for most of the second period. At 5:54 of the period, the Rangers went on the powerplay with hope of breaking the tie game.  Josh Bailey tripped Derrick Brassard and the Rangers had their 3rd power play of the game. The Isle’s 30th ranked penalty kill denied the Rangers potential go ahead goal and the game remained tied with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Rangers kept up their game and controlled most of the game after their failed power play. The Islanders responded with a few chances of their own after the Ranger’s brief flurry of chances and the period seemed to have evened up in puck possession. With 5:35 left in the game Kreider took a silly penalty, which he has sadly done quite often this season. The inevitable happened after that, as Vanek put home his 18th goal of the season off of a quick pass from Tavares on the power play. The Rangers had PLENTY of late period chances, but Frans Nielsen added the empty netter and capped of an 5-3 Islanders victory.

CATEGORY                    NYI NYR
POWER PLAYS                 1/5    1/4
HITS                                        15      23
FACEOFF WINS                 36     32
GIVEAWAYS                         7       16
TAKEAWAYS                        4        7
BLOCKED SHOTS             16      10
PENALTY MINUTES       10     10

THREE STARS OF THE GAME

3) Thomas Vanek: GWG, 1 assist

2) Rick Nash: 2 goals

1) John Tavares: 3 assists

 

MY THREE STARS:

3) Chris Kreider: 1 goal, 2 assists

2) Rick Nash: 2 goals

1) John Tavares: 3 assists

 

The Rangers host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday 1/23/14

 

Tags: Cam Talbot Chris Kreider Islanders New York Rangers Rick Nash

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