The New York Rangers took Round 1 in the latest chapter of the Islanders-Rangers rivalry, defeating the Isles 4-2.
Chris Drury gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at the 56-second mark of the first period. With the puck behind the net, Drury banked the puck off of goaltender Joey MacDonald's skates into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Kyle Okposo scored his first of the season with 7.3 seconds left in the first period to tie the game 1-1. Okposo took a Richard Park centering pass from behind the net and put it past Henrik Lundqvist's left shoulder.
Despite the fact that the score was tied, Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon felt his team had numerous scoring opportunities in the first period.
"I thought the first half of the game, I think I liked our chances better than theirs,” said Gordon. “We generated some pretty good chances.”
Joey MacDonald echoed Coach Gordon's sentiments.
"Overall I thought the first period and a half we stuck right with them," MacDonald said. "I thought the first and second we played really well, and we had some great chances."
Ryan Callahan put the Rangers up 2-1 at the 16:16 mark of the second period. Callahan jumped on a puck that deflected off of Trent Hunter's skate off a Nigel Dawes shot, and slid the puck past a sprawled MacDonald.
The Islanders strong penalty killing held Rangers lead to just one goal after two periods.
With Jack Hillen and Richard Park in the penalty box, the Islanders killed a key 48-second two man disadvantage four and a half minutes into the second period. The penalty-killing trio of Nate Thomson, Chris Campoli, and Bruno Gervais, along with strong goaltending by MacDonald was able to hold the Rangers scoreless on the advantage.
Thompson also got into his second fight in as many games, squaring off with Aaron Voros. Both men landed several blows before the linesmen stepped in between both men to break the fight up.
Scott Gomez put the Rangers up 3-1 at 6:52 of the third period. Gomez took advantage of a Michal Rozsival shot that deflected off of Gervais' skate and shot it over an out-of-position MacDonald's glove hand for his third goal of the season.
MacDonald felt like the bounces will sway toward the Islanders direction soon.
"They're getting a lot of shots through and a couple of them didn't even get to me," MacDonald said. "(Those shots) went right on their tape and right to the back of the net. It's just bounces. They're not going our way right now, but eventually they will turn."
Drury scored his second goal of the game on a two-man advantage 12:36 into the third to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
Mark Streit scored a shorthanded goal to cut the Rangers lead to 4-2 at the 18:04 mark of the third period. It was Streit's third goal of the season.
The Islanders announced several injury updates on Monday: Brendan Witt will miss 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury; Freddy Meyer is day-to-day with an abdominal strain; and Rick DiPietro is day-to-day pending additional assessment and treatment for a lower-body injury. DiPietro's injury is unrelated to his previous injuries.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Chris Drury: Two goals, 8 shots
2. Michal Rolzsival: Two assists
3. Ryan Callahan: One goal
Honorable Mention: Kyle Okposo: Scored his first goal of the season and had 7 shots.
Slapshots: The Islanders held their annual Halloween Mask Raffle on Monday night at the Nassau Coliseum. Fans won Halloween masks that were created and signed by the players. All $1,460 raised from the raffle will go to the Islanders Children's Foundation...The Rangers took the all-time series lead tonight, with a record of 98-97-19-3…The Rangers outshot the Islanders 39-30…Campoli led all Islanders with 27:22 of ice time…Okposo led all Islanders with 7 shots on goal…The Islanders outhit the Rangers 32-17, with Trent Hunter leading the team with 7 hits…Tonight's attendance was 15,581
93 Doug Weight – 13 Bill Guerin – 20 Sean Bergenheim
10 Richard Park – 89 Mike Comrie – 21 Kyle Okposo
15 Jeff Tambellini – 51 Frans Nielsen – 7 Trent Hunter
11 Andy Hilbert – 45 Nate Thompson – 16 Jon Sim
NEW YORK RANGERS
Goaltenders 30 Henrik Lundqvist
40 Steve Valiquette
5 Dan Girardi – 6 Wade Redden
27 Paul Mara – 18 Marc Staal
3 Michal Rozsival – 45 Dmitri Kalinin
24 Ryan Callahan – 19 Scott Gomez – 10 Nigel Dawes
91 Markus Naslund – 23 Chris Drury – 13 Nikolai Zherdev
34 Aaron Voros – 17 Brandon Dubinsky – 25 Petr Prucha
20 Fredrik Sjostrom – 15 Blair Betts – 28 Colton Orr
1 - 0 NYR
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 NYR
3 - 1 NYR
4 - 1 NYR