Postgame 12/20/13 : Islanders vs. Rangers
The Islanders beat the Rangers tonight in Madison Square Garden. It was a much needed regulation victory that could push them to place a more consistent game. It was a very convincing team effort all around.
The first period began with some sloppy play from both teams. Andrew MacDonald took a high sticking penalty about 5 minutes into the period that would put the Islanders a man down. Cal Clutterbuck would recieve a short handed penalty shot and would convert to put them up by one. A few minutes later, Michael Grabner would light the lamp on a breakaway to put the Isles up by two. This was his first goal since scoring on opening night against the Devils. On that same power play, the Rangers got on the board with a goal that was scored by Benoit Pouliot.
In the second period, the Rangers controlled most of the play. They scored two goals in the first 10 minutes by Derek Stepan and Derek Dorsett. A few minutes later, Brian Strait scored his first non playoff NHL goal. The two teams headed into the lockeroom with 3 goals.
On a power play that was continued from the second period, the Islanders would take the lead with a Thomas Vanek goal. This was possibly his biggest goal as an Islander as it would turn out to be the game winning goal.
Penalties were exchanged throughout the entire period without any more scoring until the last minute. With the Rangers' goalie pulled, Michael Grabner scored his second of the game with an empty net to ice it.
The Islanders beat the Rangers on their home ice. This was also their first road victory in almost 2 months. This team truly showed what they could do when they play as a unit. All lines were contributing and the defense and goaltending were both solid at key moments.
The Isles look to continue their success against the Anaheim Ducks at the Coliseum at 7PM on Saturday night.