With just six seconds separating the Islanders from a loss and a chance to win in the shootout, the New York Rangers converted their third power play goal of the game and the Isles fell 4-3 in overtime at Madison Square Garden Sunday night. Marion Gaborik netted the winner, roofing a shot past Evgeni Nabokov with just two seconds left on Travis Hamonic’s tripping penalty.
“It’s frustrating,” Hamonic said. “Our penalty kill wasn’t where it’s been all year. It definitely wasn’t where it should be.”
The Rangers entered the game with the 29th ranked power play, but Brad Richards found the back of the net on two of the Rangers first three opportunities. In the first period, Richards walked into the middle of the ice and fired a shot high on Evgeni Nabokov, and scored his second from the point in the middle frame.
“Tonight we didn’t help ourselves,” Jack Capuano said. “We gave them three [power play] goals against out of the four. You are not going to win many games like that.”
Capuano added that despite a power play goal, the Islanders did not have enough looks, or take enough shots with the man advantage.
“We are trying to be too cute at times,” he said. “If we have to change some of the units, we’ll think doing it.”
The Islanders were outshot 36-19, but despite the lopsided shot total, the Islanders did not trail the Rangers in regulation. John Tavares opened the scoring at 11:15 of the first period, swatting a PA Parenteau rebound past Henrik Lundqvist.
The Islanders had no power plays in the first 20 minutes, but received a four-minute advantage after Derek Stepan drew blood on a high stick against Parenteau. On the ensuing power play, a Mark Streit shot hit the glass over the net and bounced to Matt Moulson who buried the whacky bounce, putting the Isles up 2-1.
With the score tied at two, Andrew MacDonald put the Isles back up in the last minute of the second period, taking a breakaway feed after serving a holding penalty. MacDonald streaked towards the net and rifled a wrist shot high over Lundqvist’s blocker.
The Rangers responded at 3:29 of the third period as Brian Boyle evened up the game for the third time, deflecting a Ryan McDonagh point shot by Nabokov.
“I don’t think we played a bad game,” Parenteau said. “It could have gone either way. We have to be a little more disciplined.”
With the overtime loss, the Islanders finish the season series with the Rangers at 2-3-1. The Islanders host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum, their first non-divisional opponent in four contests. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.