The New York Rangers have taken the fourth chapter of the season series between the crosstown rivals, defeating the Islanders 2-1 Tuesday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,234 at the Nassau Coliseum.
Nigel Dawes' second period power-play goal proved to be the game winner for the Rangers, who have improved their season series lead over the Islanders to 3-1-0.
Chris Campoli got the Islanders on the board first at 18:50 of the first period to take an early 1-0 lead. After Bill Guerin redirected the puck behind him, Campoli one timed a slapshot over Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist's shoulder. The goal was his fifth of the season.
Yann Danis, who was recalled from Bridgeport earlier in the day, replaced starting goaltender Joey MacDonald, who left the game just over five minutes into the first period with a groin strain.
Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon said he had a feeling something was wrong with MacDonald before the puck was dropped.
"I saw him before the game as he was scraping up his crease," said Gordon. "I was watching him and thought there was something wrong. We looked back after a couple of shifts and there was something there. I haven't talked to the doctor about it [yet].”
The Rangers tested Danis quickly, but the Islanders goaltender was up to the test, stopping all five shots that were thrown at him.
Chris Drury tied the game for the Rangers at 12:31 of the second period. Drury took a Scott Gomez pass in the slot and fired a wrist shot over Islanders goaltender Yann Danis' shoulder for his 13th goal of the season.
Dawes gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead on a powerplay goal at 14:27 of the second period. On a two-on-one rush, Dawes took a Ryan Callahan cross ice pass and one timed the puck past Danis for his eighth goal of the season.
Despite the loss, Gordon thought his team gave a solid effort out on the ice.
"I thought everybody came out and played hard," Gordon said after the game. "Guys that came back from injury, they did a good job. I thought it was a pretty complete game by everybody."
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Nigel Dawes: Scored the game winning goal 2. Henrik Lundqvist: 33 saves in a winning effort for the Rangers 3. Chris Drury: Opened up the scoring for the Rangers
Modell's Amateur Hockey Award Winner Lou Defeo
Slapshots: The Islanders outshot the Rangers 34-29...Brendan Witt led all Islanders with five shots on goal...All-Star Mark Streit led all Islanders with 25:24 of ice time...The Rangers took the all-time series lead over the Islanders, 98-97-19-3...With his return to the lineup, Frans Nielsen also returned to his former spot on the first power-play unit...An NHL video crew followed MSG Plus play-by-play announcer Howie Rose throughout Tuesday's game for a feature on an upcoming edition of "Voices" on the NHL Network...Tuesday night's Modell's Amateur Hockey Award Winner was Lou Defeo