NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at NY Rangers
(Monday, March 5th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 2, NY Islanders 1 (SO)
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Matt Cullen netted the lone goal of the shootout, as the New York Rangers edged the New York Islanders, 2-1, in a spirited first tilt of a home-and-home set at Madison Square Garden.
Petr Prucha scored in regulation and Henrik Lundqvist recorded 29 saves for the Rangers, who have won three of their last four games and now sit two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Rick DiPietro was sensational for the Islanders, stopping a season-high 56 shots. Jason Blake notched the lone goal for the Isles, who remain in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
"It is always tough to lose," said DiPietro. "We got a point and battled for it."
In the shootout, Cullen was the second skater for the Rangers and snapped a quick wrist shot into the top right corner of the net. Lundqvist then stopped Viktor Kozlov with a poke check to keep the Rangers in front.
"He (DiPietro) was playing unbelievable so you try not to change your approach but when you look at the scoreboard and see all his saves, you start thinking," said Cullen. "I just saw what was available and went from there."
Jaromir Jagr was then stopped by DiPietro, who made a sliding pad save. Randy Robitaille then had to score to keep the shootout alive, but his wrist shot was knocked aside by Lundqvist with his blocker to give the Rangers the extra point.
With 1:43 left in the opening period, Blake netted a power-play goal to give the Isles a 1-0 lead. Blake darted into the zone up the left wing and his centering pass hit off a Ranger defenseman in front and past a stunned Lundqvist.
DiPietro was tested early and often in the first period, making 17 saves.
In the second stanza, the Rangers continued to dominate and fired 19 shots on goal, but DiPietro stood tall stopping them all.
The Rangers finally got on the board in the third frame after Prucha slammed home a rebound at the left side of the crease just 26 seconds into the period.
In the extra session, both teams played cautiously hoping not to lose a valuable point.
These rivals will meet on Thursday in the back end of the home-and-home set at Nassau Coliseum...The Rangers had 57 shots, a season high...Cullen assisted on Prucha's goal...The Islanders went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Rangers did not score in seven chances with the man advantage.
03/05 23:42:04 ET