The Islanders quest to go undefeated at Madison Square Garden for the first time since the lockout-shortened 1995 season fell short as they were defeated by the New York Rangers, 5-0.
The Rangers started off early and often, scoring their first three goals in a span of 5:18.
Artem Anisiomov put the the Rangers on the scoreboard first just 3:12 into the first period with his 11th of the season. Jody Shelley had the puck by his skates in between the faceoff circles and passed it behind him to a waiting Anisimov who was unprotected. The Rangers winger fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Marian Gaborik put the Rangers up by two goals just 2:32 later with his team-leading 38th of the season. Gaborik led a two-on-one rush with Marc Staal into the Islanders zone and fed the streaking Rangers defenseman. However, Staal was denied by Roloson. Brandon Dubinsky followed up the play behind the net, and fed a pass off to Gaborik, who was waiting right in front of the Islanders net and fired a shot past Roloson for a 2-0 Rangers lead.
Michael Del Zotto increased the Rangers lead by three goals less than three minutes later on the power play. With Trent Hunter in the penalty box serving a slashing minor, Gaborik fed a cross-ice pass to the Rangers defenseman, drawing down both Richard Park to block the shot, and Roloson in efforts to stop the puck. However, Del Zotto got his shot past both to put the Rangers up 3-0.
Both teams were scoreless in the second period, but it was thanks to the work of Roloson that the Rangers didn’t extend their three-goal lead by stopping 17 shots.
The Islanders netminder was hard at work to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard in that period, stopping both Erik Christensen and Marian Gaborik on brilliant right skate saves on two separate breakaways.
However, Gaborik would score his second goal of the game midway through the third period to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead. Gaborik took a lead pass from Dan Girardi and snuck behind Dylan Reese to pot the Rangers’ fourth goal of the game.
Dan Girardi added a power play goal with 3:49 left in the third period to give the Rangers a 5-0 lead.
Three Stars of the Game: 1. Marian Gaborik, NYR: Two goals and assist. 2. Sean Avery, NYR: Assist, five shots on goal 3. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR: 27 saves for the shutout
Slapshots: Rangers outshot the Islanders, 44-27...Mark Streit and Josh Bailey led all Islanders with 4 shots on goal...Rangers were 2-6 on the power play, while the Islanders were unsuccessful on three man advantages...Isles outhit the Rangers 35-30.