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Rangers Recap: Rangers Fall Short of Islanders in Overtime, 3-2

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Note: Just to clear things up, Joe's television blacked out on him and I was at MSG for the game, so that is the reason for the delayed recap. We apologize and appreciate your cooperation.

Despite battling back late in the third period to send the game to overtime and outshooting the Isles 38-22, the New York Rangers fell short of the Islanders thanks to a Kyle Okposo wristshot that eluded Lundqvist to send a depressed Garden crowd home. The Blueshirts had surges in this game where they were really sharp on offense, but also had times when they lacked in their own zone. And yet again, a lack of conversion on prime opportunities came back to haunt this team, especially in the extra time.

The first period was fairly slow, only seeing a total of ten shots between the two clubs, but I felt the Rangers did not have their legs in the period. A collision at center ice between Prospal and Girardi led to Okposo making a spin-around pass to set-up Frans Nielsen for a tap in goal. Obviously there is not much you could do about a blind collision, but there was a lack of physicality on Okposo and they allowed him to make the pretty pass to set up the tally.

The second period saw the Rangers coming out a bit stronger, but a Michael Del Zotto turnover on the powerplay cost the Blueshirts. Blake Comeau came in and put one past Lundqvist to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead shorthanded. For some odd reason the Isles always seem to score at the Garden shorthanded and it didn't fail tonight. That is now twice Del Zotto has coughed the puck up in his own zone on the powerplay this season, but that is a part of dealing with the bumps in the road with our rookie defensemen. So even though the Rangers held a 15-9 shot advantage in the period, they still found themselves being shutout through two.

The third stanza was a bit different, however, as the Rangers completely dominated and this time converted on opportunities. First it was Brandon Dubinsky six minutes into the period, burying a rebound for what would be his first of two on the night to cut the Islander lead to 2-1. The Blueshirts left their fans at the edge of their seats in anticipation until 47 seconds remaining in regulation when Dubinsky deflected a Ryan Callahan slap shot through the legs of Roloson to tie the game. Those two were Dubi's fifth and sixth goals of the season.

About a minute into overtime, forward Christopher Higgins completely fanned on an open-net rebound which pretty much had a packed MSG ready to celebrate a home team victory, but the snake continues to bite at Higgins as it has all year long so far. With overtime dwindling down to a precious minute, Kyle Okposo sent a wrister from the boards which somehow beat Lundqvist and absolutely stunned the building. Henrik makes that save nine out of ten times, but not on this night.

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Sean Avery started the game with some foolish penalties, including an unnecessary shove of Dwayne Roloson, but after that first period he was one of the better players on the ice for the Rangers. This was a tilt that was determined by effort and will. Avery displayed both, just went a bit overboard in the early minutes.

I also felt the effort of Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan was solid as well. These players, as always, were clutch on the penalty-kill for the Blueshirts and were involved physically. I wanted to personally give Callahan a hug for shooting the puck late in the third period, being that all the powerplay did was cycle the puck aimlessly prior to that point. Cally had the right idea to just get the puck on net, and hey, what do you know? It was deflected and went in.

Dubinsky skated very well in this one and had the puck quite often from my perspective. Dubinsky has always been good down low in the crease area and has the heart to push his way in there. Well, it paid off for the young forward tonight, having his first two-goal night in quite a while.

I cannot say Lundqvist was amazing like he has been as of late, solely because he allowed three goals on just 22 shots. Sure he made some stellar saves including the one on Sutton in overtime, but I cannot say he was amazing. I am not sure if the Okposo shot was deflected or not because I was at the game and have not seen a replay just yet, but Hank usually makes the save there.

On defense, Staal had another decent performance, as did Dan Girardi, but Michal Rozsival was just horrid. Yes, he had two assists in the third period, but that doesn't make up for the three terrible turnovers in his own zone before that. Wade Redden even received a good chunk of ice time from Tortorella tonight as he played fairly well himself. Gilroy and Del Zotto also seemed to be out there often, especially Del Zotto, but DZ did have a bit of a rough night. Like I said, you cannot get angry at plays like the one that resulted in the shorthanded goal, remembering he is a 19-year-old rookie that is going to make mistakes.

The Rangers are fortunate to come out of this one with a valuable point in the standings. It may have felt like it was their's to win after they battled back and tied things up, but unfortunately it did not end in their favor. New York will return to action on Wednesday night when they host the struggling Philadelphia Flyers at the Garden.