NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at NY Rangers
(Thursday, February 19th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 6, NY Islanders 2
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Mark Messier and Matthew Barnaby each posted a goal and an assist in the first period, igniting the Rangers to a 6-2 victory over the Islanders in the battle of New York at Madison Square Garden.
Jaromir Jagr, Bobby Holik and Petr Nedved all contributed a goal and an assist while Alexei Kovalev also scored for the Rangers, who stopped a three-game losing streak.
Mike Dunham turned aside 30 shots in the victory, the fifth in five meetings this season for the Rangers over their bitter rivals from Long Island.
"Well, I think it's a bitter rivalry - we've had a rivalry ever since I've been here," said Barnaby.
Justin Papineau and Mattias Weinhandl scored for the Islanders, who saw their five-game unbeaten streak halted (2-1-3).
Islanders' goaltender Rick DiPietro had a tough night between the pipes, allowing six goals on 31 shots before leaving in the third period. Garth Snow replaced the young netminder and faced five shots throughout the remainder.
Two turnovers by the Islanders in their own zone gave way for a quick 2-0 Rangers' lead in the opening period.
First, Oleg Kvasha's breakout pass was intercepted in the neutral zone by Barnaby, who skated inside the left circle and made a nice backhand pass to Messier. Before DiPietro could square himself up, Messier put home his 15th goal of the season at 2:24 for a 1-0 edge.
Less than two minutes later, Jagr, who had missed the last two games with a groin injury, stole the puck near the top of the blue line. He then spotted Nedved, who took the feed from Jagr and beat DiPietro with a blazing wrister from the top of the left circle.
Barnaby staked the Rangers to a three-goal lead when he lifted in a rebound from the right post with 2:29 to play in the first.
"When you fall behind 3-0, its just too big of a mountain," said Islanders coach Steve Stirling.
Early in the second stanza at 2:38, a well-executed tic-tac-toe passing play brought the Islanders within 3-1 while on the power play. With Kovalev off for hooking, Kvasha held control at the left circle and fed across to Mariusz Czerkawski at the opposite face-off dot. Czerkawski then quickly gave the puck to Papineau, who redirected the disc into the net at the left post.
However, Jagr countered about six minutes after when he followed his own shot and connected on the rebound with 11:27 to go in the middle session.
The Islanders' second goal was scored at the 13:46 mark of the second on Weinhandl's sixth goal from Papineau and Eric Manlow.
Shortly after Dunham made a great toe save on Shawn Bates to preserve the two- goal lead, the Rangers made it 5-2 near the five-minute mark of the final period. Kovalev screened DiPietro in front and collected a rebound before his backhander lit the lamp for the 13th time this season.
Holik's marker with 13:26 remaining completed the scoring.
In typical Rangers-Islanders fashion, the end of the contest turned ugly, as gloves and sticks littered the ice while players from both sides took part in fisticuffs. All told, the clubs combined for 105 penalty minutes in the final 3:54.
"I think that it was a pretty gutless move by a lot of their players - picking their spots, jumping guys from behind," said Islanders defenseman Eric Cairns. "That's what you expect from bottom-dwellers."
The Isles are 6-2-4-1 in their last 13 overall and 3-2-2-1 in the last eight on the road...The Rangers are 7-0-2 in the last nine meetings with their cross-town rivals...The fourth annual Pat Lafontaine Trophy, awarded to the winner of the season series between these two clubs in honor of the great retired forward who played for both teams, had already been decided prior to the game. The final matchup for these two teams will take place next Thursday at Nassau Coliseum...The Islanders are now winless in their last five trips to the Garden (0-4-1)...On the power play, the Rangers finished 0-for-2, while the Isles were held scoreless on three chances with the extra skater.
02/20 00:28:21 ET