The Rangers took the Islanders seriously as an opponent and then they handled their business on their way to a convincing 6-3 win. New York had its stars show up tonight with Henrik Lundqvist making done tremendous saves, especially early on, Gaborik getting two goals and the power play cashing in on its chances. If those three things continue the last 11 games then they playoff spot will take care of itself.
The Rangers came out with excellent energy and maintained it throughout the first period. Marian Gaborik had an early breakaway, but could not covert. Moments later Sean Avery took a boarding penalty. While shorthanded Brandon Prust gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead. The Prust goal was created by Ryan McDonagh who collapsed the defense with his move to the net and his shot created the rebound for Prust. Late in the first Erik Christensen extended the lead to 2-0 with a beautiful shot on the power play. That is how the first ended.
The team came out sluggish to start the second with goals by Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau to tie the game.
New York would respond with three goals of their own before the period ended. The first was from Ryan Callahan off a beautiful behind the back pass from Artem Anisimov. Marian Gaborik made it 4-2 on a gorgeous wrist shot far post. Bryan McCabe closed the period with his first as a Ranger to bring the lead to 3 at 5-2.
The third period was academic, but Gaborik got his second of the evening before John Tavares scored to make the final 6-3.
- Lundqvist was excellent, especially in the first and he seems to be in a much better groove these last few games.
- Don’t know what has gotten into Erik Christensen, but I like it. He is producing points on a consistent basis and even more than that he is showing up at other points of the game.
- I expect Avery to be right back in the press box watching on Friday as he was awful tonight. He took three penalties and none of them of the “good” variety. The boarding call in the first he got lucky, at least from where we were, to not get more than two minutes and the one in the third cost them what in this game was a meaningless goal, but you cannot expect to be up four to be ok with giving up a goal down the stretch.