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Rangers Vs. Islanders: Wait, You're Allowed To Win These Games?

Notes from the Rangers win over the Islanders.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

- That's a big win for a slew of reasons. The biggest reason being the Rangers moving to two points away from the Islanders with two games in hand and the ROW tiebreaker in their pocket. Oh, and actually beating the Islanders for the first time this year. That doesn't even mention the mental aspect of coming back from two dagger goals against, and finally shaking the wall that had been Jaroslav Halak in the process.

- Before we really dig into the game, I want to talk about this team's battle level. Or maybe not battle level, but their never say die attitude. At 3-1 you wouldn't forgive the Rangers for taking their foot off the gas, but you could feel the air start to escape from the balloon. After Ryan McDonagh (two goals and his best game of the year) and Chris Kreider did all they could to put the air back into the balloon, you could feel the dagger go in again at 5-3 in the third. For the Rangers to come back again in that situation shows the stones this team has. Last year's team fought through a few storms to march to the Stanley Cup Final, this team is showing they have the foundation to be able to do the same.

- Since he was taking all the (deserved) flak from the beginning, we need to address Cam Talbot. I really don't know how to feel about him after that game, to be honest. In my book, the first and third goals against were really bad and the fourth goal was a product of his poor positioning. The second and fifth goals against were massive defensive breakdowns that he really didn't have a chance at. Still, three of five goals being very soft or soft is not a good look.

- And yet, Talbot made about five or six saves he had no business making. Serious, cross-crease or flashy glove saves that were jaw-dropping. Had Talbot made the three saves above and gave up three goals on any of the crazy saves he made we're talking about the defensive breakdowns and not about Talbot. But that's not how it played out. So I really don't know how to feel about him. Still, give Talbot credit, he didn't hang his head and he gutted out a big win. He was big down the stretch.

- The Rangers are 5-1-1 since Henrik Lundqvist went down with his injury. Better than you could have hoped for, I'm guessing.

- Kind of funny when you look at a six-goal game and realize Rick Nash had seven shots but no points. It really speaks to how good this team can be if their secondary scoring stays consistent. Derek Stepan (a goal and two assists), Kreider (a goal and an assist), Martin St. Louis (a goal and an assist) and McDonagh (the aforementioned two goals) all got the job done. Granted, Kreider and McDonagh were good the entire game, but better late than never.

- Kreider, for what it's worth, was a monster all game. Used his speed, was physical and was simply too much to handle on the back end. Kreider has been really good for a long stretch of games now. That's a good thing, the Rangers need him.

- You could just feel a slump buster goal from St. Louis between the second and third, couldn't you?

- And, of course, Kevin Klein, who scored yet another game winning goal (his ninth goal of the year) and added an assist. Klein had a really good game after a horrific defensive sequence in the first, but man has he been good for the Rangers. Added to his career-high totals with 25 points.

- Best game from Tanner Glass all year. That doesn't change the fact he should sit when Jesper Fast comes back, but when he plays well it should be noted since we certainly talk about the bad.

- So the Rangers are in second place in the Metro, two points out of first with two games in hand. It's going to be a fun race to the finish, no?

- By the way, the NHL is much better when this rivalry is good. I can't tell you how many outside sources I saw tweeting and talking about the game. More of these (mainly the Rangers wins) please, guys.