The New York Rangers came away with a huge 4-1 win over the New York Islanders tonight, and 2011 1st-round draft pick, J.T. Miller, was on full display. Miller came away with his first two career NHL goals, which sparked a much needed win for the Blueshirts. Henrik Lundqvist was solid in between the pipes for the Rangers tonight, and held down the fort when things started collapsing.
For a 19-year old kid playing in only his second NHL game, and first game in front of the rowdy home crowd at Madison Square Garden, it didn't take him very long to become a fan favorite. Just 1:29 into the game, Miller came away with his first career goal in the NHL as he sniped one over the shoulder of Evgeni Nabakov. Miller came into the zone with speed, fumbled with the puck a bit, before eventually kicking it back to his stick and sniping it home. As a lot of people would have said after watching that goal, color me impressed.
The Rangers kept a solid forecheck going for the full 20 minutes of the first period, and it resulted in their second goal of the first period. After the Rangers trapped the Islanders in their zone for well over two minutes, Marian Gaborik jammed home a loose puck that squirted out to the slot. The Rangers closed out one of their better first periods of the season with a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
With such a quick start like that, it's almost expected that the team would regress a slight bit in the second period. As expected, the Rangers weren't as strong to start out the second period, but they eventually turned it around. John Tavares would cut the Rangers lead to 2-1 after he came in and sniped one over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. Nothing you could really do about it though, it was just a great shot, and is expected when you give Tavares that much room.
J.T. Miller would strike again just seven minutes later converted on a breakaway that he slipped underneath who was fully sprawling out. Ryan McDonagh made a great outlet pass to spring Miller on the breakaway and he made it count. Oh yeah, the goal also came on the power play, which was just their fourth power play goal of the season. Maybe it's time to can Del Zotto from quarterbacking the power play, and hand it over to McDonagh? I sure would.
The Rangers closed out the game with a solid third period from everyone, and Ryan McDonagh sealed the deal with an empty netter with a little over two minutes to play. Henrik Lundqvist made a few saves tonight that easily could have went in, but he stood tall tonight, and it was easily his best performance of the season.
It was a solid game up and down the lineup tonight. Everyone was putting in 110% and the offense was firing on all cylinders. Chris Kreider had another solid game tonight since returning from the bone chip in his ankle. You could tell he was nursing that injury for quite a bit of time since the season started. J.T. Miller has been unbelievable in his first two games, and he's making quite the case to remain with the big club. Someone should notify Brian Boyle that his job is on the line here.
The Rangers will have two off days before heading back into MSG for a contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. After a big win tonight, they could use these next two days to fuel up for another big game on Sunday.