RANGERS 2, ISLANDERS 1
By Jason Lockhart
With the Islanders on the penalty kill, the Rangers scored the game-winning goal with just over five minutes remaining in the third period to defeat the Islanders 2-1, Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
Following the late Rangers goal, the Islanders were inches away from tying it up in the final minute of play off a scramble in front, but after video review, the puck was ruled to have not crossed the line.
On the Chris Simon match penalty, which occurred with less than seven minutes to go in the third, Petr Prucha jammed home a loose puck in front of the net with 5:14 left to give the Rangers their second win this week against the Islanders.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 of 29 shots for the win, while Rick DiPietro was nearly as stellar in goal allowing two tallies on 30 shots.
"They had two power play goals," said Ted Nolan. "I thought we played better than we did at the Garden. If we play like this again, we'll get our fair share of wins."
The so-called "fourth line" put the Islanders up 1-0, 3:33 into the second period. Richard Park attempted a wraparound that was stopped, but Arron Asham deflected the puck to Chris Simon, who jammed it past the glove of Lundqvist.
But, with 8:06 left in the second frame, Rangers defenseman Paul Mara evened the score with a blast from the point on the power play.
After the major, the Islanders pulled DiPietro for an extra attacker and came inches away from tying the game when Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot from the point was pulled out at the last moment by Lundqvist's paddle with just over 20 seconds remaining.
"It was tough because the referee originally signaled, no goal, so that meant the guys in Toronto had to think it had conclusively crossed the line," said Mike Sillinger. Since they didn't, they had to stand with the initial call on the ice. It was unfortunate it didn't go in our favor."
The Islanders return to the ice Saturday, to take on the Washington Capitals at home.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Henrik Lundqvist: Stood tall in goal as the Islanders pressured late
2. Rick DiPietro: Impressive in goal in the losing effort.
3. Petr Prucha: Tallied the game-winner
4. Michal Rozsival: Led the Rangers in ice time with 28:04
5. Sean Hill: A physical presence while playing 23:39, a +1
Stat of the Game: The Islanders won 60% of the faceoffs.
Fan of the Game: Glenn Smith has been a season ticket holder since Charles Wang became the owner of the Islanders. This is the first time he's ever made a sign. He went to his art department at work to make sure it came out just right. As you can tell from the photo, they did a marvelous job. The one request Glenn has is that the Islanders bring the "Chicken Dance" back.
Slapshots: This was the Islanders' fifth sellout of the seasonÂ¦It took 91:54 of ice time for the Rangers to score their first goal at the Nassau Coliseum this seasonÂ¦Shawn Bates (abdomen), Bruno Gervais (ankle) and Richard Zednik (healthy).
Game Operations: It was National Kidney Foundation Night at the Nassau Coliseum. Howard Fields, a kidney transplant survivor, was interviewed during the game to spread awareness to Islanders and Rangers fans in attendanceÂ¦The Lemon Tree "Who needs a haircut" contest was in full effect tonight. One lucky fan earned a free haircut at the Lemon TreeÂ¦Hummer was back in the Coliseum, giving three lucky fans an opportunity to drive away in a new H3 if they threw a miniature airplane through the window of the H3 parked on the Coliseum ice. One plane narrowly missed the open driver-side window
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli - 44 Freddy Meyer
3 Tom Poti - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
94 Ryan Smyth - 27 Randy Robitaille - 55 Jason Blake
25 Viktor Kozlov - 79 Alexei Yashin - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
45 Arron Asham - 10 Richard Park - 12 Chris Simon
30 Henrik Lundqvist
40 Stephen Valiquette
8 Marek Malik - 3 Michal Rozsival
27 Paul Mara - 23 Karel Rachunek
22 Thomas Pock - 46 Dan Girardi
16 Sean Avery - 92 Michael Nylander - 68 Jaromir Jagr
15 Brad Isbister - 54 Brandon Dubinsky - 82 Martin Straka
25 Petr Prucha 25 - Matt Cullen - 41 Jed Ortmeyer
44 Ryan Hollweg - 19 Blair Betts - 28 Colton Orr