After taking the first two games of the season series, the New York Rangers were defeated 4-2 by the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Despite the score saying otherwise, the Rangers were the much better team offensively as they out shot the Islanders 42-18. A couple of bad bounces off of their own players and terrible puck luck in the offensive zone led to some unfortunate results. Alexandar Georgiev had a relatively light night in terms of shots against, but the Islanders took full advantage of the limited opportunities they had.
Josh Bailey (11) PPG - Noah Dobson (4) & Derick Brassard (16) - 13:35 1st Period
The Islanders were only able to generate eight total shots on goal in the first period, but they were able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Josh Bailey picked up the first goal of the game on the power play, and deflected the puck past Alexandar Georgiev. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the initial rebound chance wound up banking off of Ryan Lindgren’s skate and into the back of the net.
Anthony Beauvillier (13) - Mathew Barzal (24) & Josh Bailey (18) - 16:35 1st Period
Exactly three minutes after the opening goal, Anthony Beauvillier notched his 13th of the season with the Islanders’ second power play goal of the night. The Islanders were able to catch the Rangers collapsing down low while puck watching, and Beauvillier was able to slip into the high slot undetected. Mathew Barzal set him up with a great spinning pass, and Beauvillier wired a shot under the crossbar to make it 2-0 Islanders.
Anders Lee (16) - Mathew Barzal (25) & Jordan Eberle (17) - 9:52 2nd Period
Things went from bad to worse for the Rangers in the second period, and another fortunate bounce wound up in the back of their own net. Following chaos behind Georgiev’s net, Mathew Barzal was able to escape with the loose puck and found Anders Lee camped out in the left faceoff circle. Lee let go a quick one-timer that hit Ryan Lindgren’s foot yet again, and deflected under Georgiev’s right arm.
Brock Nelson (20) - Josh Bailey (19) & Ryan Pulock (18) - 3:13 3rd Period
A late goal reversal due to an offsides challenge took all of the wind out of the Rangers’ sail, and the Islanders were able to capitalize yet again early in the third period. After receiving a quick pass from Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey was able to thread an incredible pass through traffic and put the puck right in Brock Nelson’s tape. Nelson was able to tap the puck home for his 20th of the season, and gave the Islanders a commanding four-goal lead.
Pavel Buchnevich (8) PPG - Adam Fox (21) & Mika Zibanejad (20) - 13:45 3rd Period
The Rangers were able to give the building some life late in the third period as they capitalized on an undisciplined spearing penalty on Scott Mayfield. Pavel Buchnevich was able to break the shutout for Thomas Greiss, and pulled the Rangers back within three goals at the 13:45 mark. The goal ended an extremely lengthy string of bad luck for Buchnevich and he was finally able to get back into the goal column.
Chris Kreider (17) PPG - Mika Zibanejad (21) & Ryan Strome (31) - 15:32 3rd Period
A little under two minutes later, Chris Kreider made things interesting as he picked up his first of the night on the back end of the double minor. Kreider was able to jump on the rebound generated by Mika Zibanejad’s point shot, and shoveled the puck past Greiss to bring the Rangers back within a pair of goals.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, that would be as close as they would come to coming back in this game, as the Islanders locked things down during the closing minutes. The shot totals speak for themselves, and the Rangers just didn’t have enough puck. Not having Artemi Panarin certainly didn’t help the Rangers either as they were without their leading scorer for the first time this season. Following tonight’s tough loss at home, the Rangers will head into the All-Star break, followed by their bye week. The Blueshirts will return to action next Friday when they welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Madison Square Garden.