A feisty battle ends with an Islanders victory, DiPietro earns 100th career win
The Islanders and Rangers played in another classic tilt, with the Orange and Blue prevailing 2-1 Monday night at Madison Square Garden. Rick DiPietro stopped 18 shots for his tenth win of the season and the 100th of his career.
"You know coming into these games they're going to be battles," said DiPietro. "Our guys did the dirty work and sacrificed to win. We got the pucks out, blocked shots and cleared rebounds. The penalty kill also worked hard."
Ruslan Fedotenko and Josef Vasicek provided the offense for the Islanders, who raised their record to 11-6-0 and 3-0-0 against the Rangers on the season. The Rangers failed to score in five power play opportunities, while the Islanders went 1-for-4.
"We just seem to get the bounces," said head coach Ted Nolan in response to why the Islanders have the Rangers' number the past two seasons. "We got some clutch scoring from Ruslan and Jo, who has been playing very well recently. And Ricky was Ricky. You need your best players to step up and he's done it all season."
The Rangers have won nine out of their last 11 games, with their two losses coming against the Islanders. Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves in the losing effort.
The first period saw no goal scoring, but a couple of scraps broke out late in the period. DiPietro went at Sean Avery after the agitating forward barreled into the netminder. DiPietro was assessed a minor for roughing.
At the end of the period, Chris Campoli and Marc Staal jarred at one another and each received coincidental minors.
Just eight seconds into the second period, before many fans returned to their seats, Fedotenko scored on the power play to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Off the opening draw, Fedotenko raced into the offensive zone, grabbed the loose puck and threw it between the legs of Lundqvist.
Vasicek added to the lead at 5:51 of the second period off the rush. The big Czech broke in down the left wing side and lifted a shot over the shoulder of Lundqvist.
Less than a minute later, Michal Rozsival countered with a shorthanded goal to make it a 2-1 game.
With six minutes remaining in the second period, DiPietro made a stellar save on Brandon Dubinsky while sprawling on his side to preserve the one-goal lead.
With the game as tight as it was, there was intensity not just on the ice, but throughout the arena with the Islanders skating into the third period with a one-goal lead.
The Islanders played a solid third period, allowing only six shots to give DiPietro the well-deserved win.
The Islanders return home following a 2-2-0 road trip to play against Montreal on Wednesday evening as part of Islanders Children's Foundation/Cancer Awareness Night.
Six Stars of the Game: 1. Rick DiPietro: Earned his 100th career win in dramatic fashion 2. Josef Vasicek: Another strong game from the powerful Czech forward 3. Henrik Lundqvist: Kept his team in the game 4. Brendan Witt: Nearly 25 minutes of gritty play, 5 hits, 6 blocked shots 5. Ruslan Fedotenko: A strong move on the goal 6. Chris Simon: Controlled the puck well tonight, earned time on the power play
Stat of the Game: There were a combined 75 hits in this heated game.
Slapshots: The Islanders are 9-1-2 against the Rangers in their last 12 meetings...Josef Vasicek extended his point streak to five games and leads the team with eight goals...The Islanders are 8-0-0 when leading after two periods…Rick DiPietro became the fourth goalie to register 100 wins as an Islander (Billy Smith, Glenn Resch, Kelly Hrudey)...The Islanders are 6-0-0 against New York Metro Teams, 10-1-0 against 2006-07 playoff teams...The Islanders lead the all-time series 95-94-19-3...The win was the Islanders' 500th all-time on the road.
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.
11 Andy Hilbert – 18 Mike Sillinger – 7 Trent Hunter
26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 89 Mike Comrie – 13 Bill Guerin
20 Sean Bergenheim – 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon – 10 Richard Park – 28 Tim Jackman
30 Henrik Lundqvist
40 Stephen Valiquette
18 Marc Staal – 3 Michal Rozsival
51 Fedor Tyutin – 5 Dan Girardi
34 Jason Strudwick – 27 Paul Mara
81 Marcel Hossa – 17 Brandon Dubinsky – 68 Jaromir Jagr
16 Sean Avery – 19 Scott Gomez – 14 Brendan Shanahan
10 Nigel Dawes – 23 Chris Drury – 25 Petr Prucha
44 Ryan Hollweg – 15 Blair Betts – 28 Colton Orr
1 - 0 NYI
2 - 0 NYI