NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 3rd (All times eastern)
NY Islanders (5-13-5) at NY Rangers (15-11-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Though they were able to rally from a pair of two-goal deficits to tie the game, the Islanders were unable to sustain the comeback and knock off the Atlantic Division rival Rangers on Thursday.
They get another chance this evening as the two New York clubs complete a home-and-home set at Madison Square Garden.
The Islanders fell behind by scores of 2-0 and 5-3, blowing a one-goal lead of their own, but got goals from Michael Grabner and Blake Comeau 1:41 apart in the third frame to even things up. However, the Rangers' Marian Gaborik completed his hat trick just 25 seconds later with 5:25 remaining in regulation to lift his club to a 6-5 victory.
Gaborik picked up his second hat trick of the season, and 12th of his career, and also had an assist. He now has 11 goals and 21 points in 17 career games versus the Islanders.
"Players like that are going to get their chances, so you just try to limit their chances," said Islanders interim head coach Jack Capuano on his team's website of Gaborik. "Whether we were physical enough on him or not, he had the opportunity twice in the paint to score a goal ... we have to have a stick in space and have good sticks around it."
Erik Christensen and Ryan Callahan scored first-period goals and Marty Biron allowed three goals on 21 shots before getting lifted during the second period for the Rangers, who have won three of their last four. Henrik Lundqvist finished with nine saves on 11 shots for the victory.
"This was a huge win for our confidence in terms of getting the win and skating well, but we need to eliminate some of our mistakes and get ready for [Friday]," Lundqvist said.
Zenon Konopka, Matt Moulson and Rob Schremp scored consecutive goals for the Islanders after they fell behind 2-0, but Rick DiPietro gave up all six goals on 26 shots faced in the loss.
After snapping a franchise-record 14-game slide last Friday versus the Devils, the Islanders were unable to string together consecutive wins for the first time since a three-game run from Oct. 16-21.
The Islanders now leave Long Island looking to halt a nine-game road losing streak. They are just 2-8-3 as the guest and haven't won away from Nassau Coliseum since Oct. 21.
The Islanders and Rangers have now split a pair of meetings so far this year, with the Isles recording a 6-4 victory on Long Island back on Oct. 11. The Blueshirts have still won eight of the last 12 meetings and snapped a two-game series home losing streak in the last clash at MSG on March 24.
12/03 10:37:36 ET