The Rangers dropped their fifth consecutive loss Thursday night in a 4-3 loss against the streaking Islanders. The game itself was quite an entertaining one with both teams leading at different points, a fight, big hits, and the tilt eventually coming down to the wire. Interestingly, the majority of play was in favor of the Blueshirts, but Robin Lehner’s 27 saves propelled the team from Brooklyn(and Long Island) to the win. “It’s too bad. I thought we played really well,” said Lundqvist after the game and head coach David QUinn stated, “I was really proud about the way we played.” Barry Trotz,, the coach of the Isles, has led his team to 10 victories in 12 games and the Islanders have climbed all the way into a playoff spot while the Rangers have dropped all the way into the bottom quarter of the Metro division.
The first period was one that the Blueshirts could and should have taken over. They had chance after chance, but Matt Barzal once again killed the Rangers by recording two points in the first ten minutes. The Rangers started off on a perfect note, scoring a goal on the first power play of the game. Just 1:38 in, Jimmy Vesey skated on in and delivered a tremendous feed to Ryan Strome who netted his sixth goal of the year. Only 53 seconds later, though, Barzal managed to find a hole through the Rangers defense and finished a backhand past the outstretched blocker of Lundqvist. Nearly six minutes after, Vesey counteracted his great play and took a foolish penalty. The Islanders converted on the power play as Jordan Eberle snapped a shot straight through the Rangers netminder. The period would end with the Isles outshooting the Blueshirts 10-8.
The second period was bound to be electric, until it wasn’t. There were 2 goals and six shots in the opening 3:08, followed by eight shots and zero goals in the final 17. At the 1:11 mark, Kevin Shattenkirk threw a seeing eye shot on net that found the top corner. It’s good to see Shetty exit his scoring slump with his second goal of the year. Unfortunately for the boy’s in blue, Isle’s Captain Anders Lee gave his team the lead with a swift power play goal. Down 3-2, the Blueshirts would need to persevere the third which has actually been a bright spot in recent games.
The Rangers absolutely ran over the Islanders in the last frame–recording ten shots – the Isles had one. Somehow and someway, David Quinn’s crew only tickled the twine once and that came from Jesper Fast. Just before the ten minute marl, Fast posted a highlight reel goal by batting the puck out of mid air and into the back of the net.
WIth the Garden on their feet and the Blueshirts playing with confidence, it seemed as if the Rangers would score another, but Isles’ Josh Bailey had other plans. On the Islanders FIRST and ONLY shot of the frame, Neal Pionk was caught sleeping in his own zone and a centering pass from Cal Clutterbuck was chipped home to the far side of the goal. Not to mention the goal was scored with 1:26 left in the game. The shaken up Rangers were unable to conquer :ehner with the goalie pulled and the losing streak is continued.
These teams will face off again on Saturday afternoon at the Barclays center to end the home and home matchup.