Henrik Lundqvist earned his fourth shutout of the season and the Rangers defeated the punch-less New York
Soundtigers Islanders 2-0 tonight at the Garden. Hank turned away all 17 shots the Islanders sent his way and for the most part wasn't challenged. After a wild game last night both sides tightened up and limited scoring chances.
Marc Staal launched a blast from the point on the power play off of a Derek Stepan feed in the second period which proved to be the game winner. Despite making a number of stellar saves, Dwayne Roloson was handed the loss as the Islanders never managed to generate much of an offense. Brian Boyle would add an empty netter to put the game on ice and the Rangers moved to one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Rangers swept the home and home series with their Long Island neighbors and thus saved themselves from the humiliation of losing to a minor league club. The Islanders are a hard working, blue collar team, but their injuries and lack of talent is enough reason to know that firing Scott Gordon was an act of desperation by a sinking franchise.
- Sean Avery spent 14 minutes in the penalty box. Otherwise I'd comment on whether or not he played well with Gaborik but hey there's always Sunday.
- Speaking of The Great Gabbo, he was all over the ice tonight and despite not scoring he was a threat nearly every time he was on the ice.
- The officiating was putrid tonight; consistently inconsistent. The Islanders were on the wrong side of a few blown calls but they have little to complain about since they managed less than 20 shots on goal in three periods of play.
- Ryan Callahan dropped the people's elbow on Frans Nielsen and even though it didn't seem to be intentional, Callahan should have been given a 5 minute major. Nielsen was shaken up, but played the rest of the game. It will be interesting to see what the NHL does. My guess is nothing.
- Let me blow some smoke about the NHL: Jesse Joensuu sees his teammate nearly get his head taken off (intentional or not) and he does the right thing by going after the culprit. Yet he is given an instigator penalty? That's a hockey play, if you throw a dirty hit you should be prepared to defend yourself. There should not be a rule in place to protect you. A distinction needs to be made between instigating after a clean hit and a dangerous one like Cally's
- Brandon Dubinsky is becoming a bit too comfortable with a microphone in front of him. After tonight's game he took a shot at Jon Sim. Dubi called him a pest and was clearly heated about his two collisions with Hank. Both collisions seemed to be incidental. I'm all for sticking up for your guys, but it's Jon frickin' Sim we're talking about here. Give it a rest.