NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at NY Rangers
(Tuesday, January 9th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, NY Rangers 3
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Viktor Kozlov's third-period tally was the game-winner, as the New York Islanders bested the rival New York Rangers, 5-3, at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Sillinger scored twice, Sean Hill and Randy Robitaille registered two assists each and Miroslav Satan picked up a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who snapped a season-high six-game skid. Brendan Witt scored his first of the season and first as an Islander while Rick DiPietro made 28 saves in the win.
The Islanders have won five in a row over their perennial foes, including all four games this season.
"For whatever reason, we seem to play really well here at the Garden," Sillinger noted. "It seems to be a good rivalry."
Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka both tallied a goal and two assists, while Michael Nylander posted a pair of helpers for the Rangers, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.
Brendan Shanahan scored the other Rangers goal, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots in another painful loss to the bitter cross-town rivals.
With the score tied 3-3 in the early stages of the third period, the visitors regained the focus lost after that tying tally, and the effort paid off as Kozlov notched his fifth goal this season against the Rangers.
From a 1-on-2 break down the right side, Robitaille sent a trailing feed to Kozlov coming up the middle. The crafty Russian took one stride and stepped into a shot which blazed past Lundqvist at 5:17, giving the Islanders a 4-3 advantage.
Sillinger added an insurance goal 27 seconds later, gloving down an errant clearing pass deep in the Rangers zone and stuffing his own rebound into the cage.
"I don't know what it is," said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. "I think it is just one of those games where we were coming off a little bit of a slump. The last six games, the puck had not been bouncing our way."
Satan put the Isles ahead 1-0 at 5:31 of the first when he picked up a loose puck at the edge of the right circle and surprised Lundqvist with a short-side wrister.
Straka netted the equalizer 1:28 later with Alexei Yashin in the penalty box. Straka nicked the far post on a shot from Nylander's left circle feed. As usual, Jagr began the play with expert puck control in the Islander zone, dishing off to Nylander along the left boards.
He would return the favor for Jagr's first goal in eight games, tapping Nylander's cross-circle pass to the Rangers' captain for an easy tip-in at the side of the net, and the Rangers led 2-1 at 10:25.
Witt knotted the game at 2-2 with 1:23 left in the opening period as the Islanders awaited a delayed penalty call. Robitaille's pass from behind the goal line found Witt, whose drive from the inner edge of the left circle found its way to the back of the net.
Sillinger then poked a loose puck through several players for a 3-2 Islander advantage 6:26 into the second, and the Rangers could not respond in a period which was played in a much more disciplined manner than the first.
Shanahan opened up the third with a one-timer from the slot through DiPietro's pads to make it 3-3 just 42 seconds in as the Rangers tallied their second power-play goal of the game. Shortly thereafter, the Islanders seized the moment and silenced a lusty Garden crowd with the final two goals of the night.
"We needed this win," said Lundqvist. "Even though we won four in a row, we lost many games before that. Every game is critical, we really need to understand how hard we have to work. Today was really a tough game."
The Rangers had not lost a game at home since a 4-3 loss December 19 to the Isles...Kozlov also picked up an assist in the game, giving him six points (5G, 1A) in four games against the Broadway Blueshirts this year.
01/09 23:05:19 ET