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NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at NY Rangers



(Thursday, April 6th)

Final Score: NY Rangers 3, NY Islanders 1

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Martin Straka scored twice and Kevin Weekes made 21 saves, as the New York Rangers downed the cross-town rival Islanders, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden.

Jarkko Immonen scored his first NHL goal for the Rangers, who have won four of their last five games and increased their lead in the Atlantic Division to five points over the idle Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers clinched their first playoff berth since 1996-97 when they defeated Philadelphia in a shootout on Tuesday.

"It is huge (win)," said Straka. "Teams like this you have to beat. We still have six games to go and we just want to win the division. It was a big step tonight."

Miroslav Satan netted the lone goal for the Islanders, who have now dropped six straight games. Rick DiPietro allowed three goals on 26 shots in the losing effort. The Islanders have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Islanders scored the only goal of the opening period on Satan's unassisted marker midway through the stanza. The Rangers committed a turnover in the neutral zone and the puck found its way onto the stick of Satan, who crossed the blue line and streaked down the left side before a quick wrister from the top of the circle beat Weekes at 10:39.

The Rangers were fond of both the opening minute and closing minute of the second period, scoring a goal in each for a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes of action.

Only 21 seconds into the second, the Rangers returned the favor and scored off of a turnover. Radek Martinek tried to clear the zone along the left half- wall, but got tangled up and lost control of the puck while Petr Prucha and Immonen both converged. Immonen corralled the disc and lit the lamp with a high wrist shot from a sharp angle along the lower rim of the left circle.

The Rangers continued to control most of the offensive action during the middle session and finally cashed in again with 48 seconds remaining. Straka broke in down the right-wing side and attempted a cross-ice pass from inside the right circle.

The puck deflected off the skate of Islanders center Wyatt Smith and through the legs of DiPietro. At first glance, the goal belonged to Jagr, whose stick was next to Smith's skate and in real time, it appeared that he redirected the puck home. However, replays clearly showed otherwise and the goal was credited to Straka.

At the 8:55 mark of the third period, the Rangers moved ahead by two goals on Straka's 21st goal of the season. Defenseman Tom Poti took the puck from behind his own goal and skated the length of ice, stickhandling through the entire Islanders team. Once he reached the goal line to the left of the net, and with Dunham out of position, Poti sent the puck out to the low slot, where Straka easily scored into an open net.

The Islanders gained a power play midway through the third, but failed to produce many scoring chances and Weekes shut the door the rest of the way.

"Obviously we are aware of where we are (in the standings), but we are not really focused on it too much," said Weekes.

Jagr remained one goal shy of setting the Rangers club record for the most goals in a season. He currently shares the mark with Adam Graves, who tallied 52 goals during the Rangers Stanley Cup title season of 1993-94.

Game Notes

Rangers center Steve Rucchin missed the game with an injured foot...Jagr's 12- game point streak came to an end...Rookie goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat out with a hip flexor strain and is still considered day-to-day...The Rangers have won five straight versus the Islanders and lead the season series, 5-2...Weekes registered an assist on Straka's second goal...The Rangers finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Isles were scoreless on three chances with the extra skater.

04/06 22:13:13 ET


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