NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at NY Islanders
(Wednesday, March 29th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 5, NY Islanders 1
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Martin Straka recorded a natural hat trick and Jaromir Jagr tallied four assists to lead the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders, 5-1, at Nassau Coliseum.
Jagr now has 113 points on the season, breaking Jean Ratelle's mark of 109 for the most ever by a Ranger. That record had stood alone since 1971-72.
Blair Betts tallied a goal and an assist while Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves for the Rangers, who have won two straight since a three-game skid. Petr Prucha added his 29th goal of the season for the Rangers.
With 94 points, the Rangers are four ahead of second-place Philadelphia with nine games remaining. The Rangers will face the Flyers in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
"We needed a good start," Jagr said. "They have a lot of young guys, especially on defense. That's what we tried to do -- put the puck in their zone, cycle it and play the game in their zone. Once you do it, you get a lot of scoring chances, that's what happened."
Alexei Yashin scored his squad's lone goal and Rick DiPietro stopped 17 shots for the Islanders, who have lost three of their last four games.
"No, there's no excuses," DiPietro said. "I don't think we played as well as we did in Montreal. I don't have any answers, I wish I did. It's not a good game. We have to keep playing hard. We owe it to our fans and to each other to play hard and keep trying to win hockey games."
The Rangers drew first blood 7:23 into the first period while on the power play when Prucha one-timed a shot from the right circle that beat DiPietro top shelf to the glove side for a 1-0 lead.
Just 90 seconds later, the Rangers upped their lead after Straka poked his own rebound over DiPietro's outstretched right pad to make it 2-0. Straka struck again just over five minutes later when his side-angle shot from below the right circle beat DiPietro and made it 3-0 entering the second period.
Straka completed the natural hat trick 12:14 into the middle frame after Jagr's shot from the slot caromed off his shin at the side of the net and past DiPietro to make it 4-0.
The Islanders got on the scoreboard with three seconds left in the second period while on the man advantage after Yashin beat Lundqvist through the five hole with a slap shot from the top of the left circle to make it 4-1.
Betts capped the scoring with 5:10 remaining in the contest after his wrister from the right circle hit DiPietro's glove and fluttered into the net to make it 5-1.
"It's tough not to look at the standings," Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis said. "It's good to have a four-point lead, but it can disappear very quickly."
The Blueshirts are 4-2 against the Isles this season, having won the last four meetings...With his next goal, Jagr will break the Rangers' single-season mark, set in 1993-94 when Adam Graves scored 52...Jagr has six goals and 10 assists in six meetings versus the Isles this season, including two four-point nights...Lundqvist has yet to lose to the Isles in regulation, going 3-0-1...The Rangers snapped a season-high six-game road losing streak.
03/29 23:02:14 ET