The Islanders generated numerous chances, but only connected for one goal as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the New York Rangers on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Islanders had 39 shots and 63 total attempts, but could only beat Henrik Lundqvist once.
“We had [almost] 40 shots tonight and a lot of grade-A opportunities,” the Islanders' lone goal scorer, Kyle Okposo, said. “Tonight 30 [Lundqvist] was a pretty big reason why [we couldn’t convert our chances]. He played a great game and you have to tip your cap to him.”
Lundqvist held the Islanders to one goal on 19 shots during the second period, allowing the Rangers to head to the third in a 1-1 draw. After holding a 19-6 advantage in the second, the Islanders were outshot 17-8 in the final period.
“We just looked like we ran out of gas,” Islanders captain John Tavares said. “We just didn’t seem to have that extra gear when we needed it.”
Derick Brassard broke open the deadlock with 7:46 to play in the third period, converting a cross-ice feed from Marc Staal while the Islanders were on a delayed penalty. Brassard’s goal gave the Rangers some extra jump and Brad Richards added the insurance goal 2:45 later, going five-hole on Evgeni Nabokov from the top of the circle.
The loss was the Islanders second straight against the Rangers.
“It’s so magnified for us now,” Tavares said. “This loss, the outdoor game, the game before that, they are all important games. We’ve had some opportunities going into third periods and being in games, but haven’t gotten the job done.”
The Islanders power play went 0-for-3 on Friday, but the power-play unit scored five seconds after Ryan McDonagh stepped out of the box, leaving the man advantage largely intact. Calvin de Haan’s point shot deflected off a Ranger stick, hit Lundqvist and caromed to Okposo, who sent his team-leading 24th into the open net. Okposo matched his career-high in goals, set during the 2011-12 season.
Brian Boyle’s first-period goal and McDonagh’s last-second empty-netter rounded out the scoring for the Rangers.
“You can’t fault the guys because we worked hard,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “Obviously there are a few details here and there, but the work ethic for the most part was there. We have to find a way to get results. That’s the most important thing.”
After playing 16 games in 30 days, the Islanders have a three-day break before traveling to Washington to take on the Capitals. Puck drop from Verizon Center goes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night.
NOTES: Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves in the loss… Matt Donovan had a team-high six shots… Thomas Vanek (23:35) and Kyle Okposo (23:27) led the Isles in TOI… Colin McDonald led the Islanders with six hits.