NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at NY Islanders
(Thursday, March 8th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 2, NY Islanders 1
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Petr Prucha scored a power-play goal with just over five minutes to play, as the Rangers topped the Islanders, 2-1, in a wild one at Nassau Coliseum.
Paul Mara also lit the lamp while Henrik Lundqvist turned away 30 shots and came up big late for the Rangers, who have won three in a row.
Chris Simon scored a goal but will be remembered more for his negative impact on the game, as he was ejected for intent-to-injure after a vicious blow to the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg.
Rick DiPietro finished with 28 saves for the Islanders, who have dropped three of four. The Islanders got their captain Alexei Yashin back on Thursday. Yashin had been sidelined the past 16 games with a knee injury, but logged just over 10 minutes of ice time and had two shots.
The momentum of the game shifted considerably following a scary moment in the latter stages of the third period. Simon was driven into the boards from behind by Hollweg, and apparently took umbrage with the hit.
He rose to his feet, spotted Hollweg skating towards him, and cracked him across the face on a vicious two-handed chop with his stick. The teams gathered in a scrum along the wall as the gritty Ranger forward lay motionless and bleeding on the ice.
Hollweg eventually stood up, and did not appear to be seriously injured.
"It doesn't really hurt now that I'm all numbed up, the chin's all stitched up, I kind of lost my hearing for a bit after it happened, but I'll get re- evaluated, hope there's nothing wrong and I feel good," said Hollweg. "I might have been out for a second or two, I'm not sure, but all the pain goes away when you get those two points."
A five-minute major power-play was awarded to the Rangers, and they cashed in with 5:14 remaining in the game when Prucha took a feed from Michael Nylander out front and slipped it past DiPietro.
"I feel bad for taking a penalty and that leading to losing the game," Simon said. "I know I've been known as a team guy and I just feel really bad for letting the team down. I just don't want to say anything about the incident until I talk to the league first."
It appeared that heavy action in front of the Ranger net led to the game-tying goal, when a loose puck last touched by Ryan Smyth seemingly trickled over the goal line. Lundqvist quickly reached back to clear the puck away, however, and the referees upheld the call of no goal after watching the replay.
Lundqvist and company avoided one last heavy surge in the final seconds to preserve the win.
"It was important to score, period, not necessarily avenging that," said Rangers head coach Tom Renney. "We just needed to win, and I'm sure Ryan would tell you that, whether he's got chiclets or not. The bottom line is we needed to score to secure our win and we were able to do that."
As both teams left the ice, Smyth appeared to be favoring his right leg.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders broke the stalemate 3:33 into the middle stanza.
Richard Park set up the goal by charging into the zone along the right wall, wrapping behind the goal and then dishing the puck into the slot for Arron Asham. Asham had his shot blocked but the puck trickled to the right side of the net, where Simon punched it home.
The visitors evened the contest with 8:06 left in the frame, as Mara blasted a heavy shot from the right point that beat DiPietro for the power- play marker.
The Rangers have won back-to-back games over the Islanders by identical 2-1 scores, after the Isles took the first four games this season by a combined 18-10 score...The Rangers went 2-for-8 on the power play, while the Islanders were 0-for-6.
03/09 00:30:42 ET