It wasn't their prettiest win of the season, but the Chicago Blackhawks played well enough to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in a physical game on Saturday night. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford played another strong game en route to his fourth win of the season, stopping 24 shots on 26 attempts. Columbus started fast against their Central Division rival, controlling play for much of the first period as they outshot Chicago 8-1 over the first ten minutes. Their early tenacity was rewarded when Blue Jackets forward Mark Letestu opened the scoring at the tail end of their first power play on a mad scramble in front of the net. After a flurry of in-close sa...
The stage was set for an emotional carry over into Saturday morning regardless of the outcome of Friday night's Islanders/Rangers game; a win for the Isles against their biggest rival and top team in the Eastern Conference would keep their playoff hopes alive, but a loss to their number one foe would have been a crushing blow to their confidence and chances.
Fortunately, the orange and blue would come on top with a 4-3 shootout victory with Matt Moulson netting the finally tally in the fourth round.
Tensions were high at the start of the game and Matt Martin decided to ease things up a bit by fighting Stu Bickel just over two minutes into the game. Both got their licks in before Martin swung and missed, falling to the ice to end the fight early. A fair draw would set the tone for how evenly the game would be played.
The Islanders are heading into the Big Apple to face their archrivals, the New York Rangers. Coming off back-to-back shootout wins (courtesy of Frans Neilsen and his patented forehand-backhand-top shelf move), the young Isles team is carrying a bit of momentum into the World’s Greatest Arena. They are playing with more confidence and finding ways to win hockey games.
This is a good thing. Because they will need every ounce of momentum, confidence, skill, (and maybe even a little luck) to leave Madison Square Garden with 2 points against the Rangers in tonight’s contest.
The Rangers (with 3 games in hand) are currently tied for 2nd in the Atlantic Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they each have managed 42 points so far this season.
Preview: The New York Islanders return home to Nassau Coliseum to take on their all-time rival, the New York Rangers.
The Islanders are coming off a western road trip which saw them give up a 3 goal lead in an overtime loss to the Avalanche, and a clinic put on by the Canucks in a loss to Vancouver. The Islanders have played better hockey since changing up their offensive lines a few games ago, putting up more scoring chances more consistently. However, they haven’t been able to translate the better play into wins. A win tonight against the Rangers would mean even more than usual, as it would end a slide of losing efforts.
A fine week of hockey for the Rangers is in the books after Friday's throttling of the Carolina Hurricanes at MSG. A four goal third period broke open what had been a tightly contested game through two periods and led the Blue Shirts to their sixth straight win. Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky each finished with a goal and an assist for the home team.
Sean Avery got the ball rolling with his first goal of the year in the first period on a breakaway. Jeff Woywitka chipped the puck up the ice and past a Hurricanes defender springing Avery on the break. Avery shielded the puck from another Hurricanes defender befor elevating the puck over Cam Ward's left shoul...
Even though signing Brad Richards was summer priority number one and he is officially signed, sealed and delivered to Manhattan, the Rangers still have a lot of work to do in preparation for the start of the 2011-2012 regular campaign. With five key RFA's, four of whom filed for arbitration, Slats still has some work to do before heading off on his annual summer vacation.
Many Rangers fans were nervous about the RFA's and rightfully so. Just two years ago Brandon Dubinsky was embroiled in a contentious negotiation with the club and his situation was not resolved until after the start of training camp. Coach Tortorella was displeased and went public with his unhappiness. Give...