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Recap: Rangers shut out by Sorokin and the Islanders, 3-0

The Rangers took plenty of shots, but Sorokin stopped them all

New York Rangers v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

While the Rangers managed more than 40 shots on goal for the second consecutive night, they simply could not solve an incredible Ilya Sorokin.

With night being the second game of a back-to-back, the Rangers turned to Jaroslav Halak in goal. Halak, who has struggled this year, turned aside all nine shots in the first period, though he struggled with rebound control. The Rangers, meanwhile, had a few good scoring chances. The freshly recalled Julien Gauthier was involved in two of them, the first of which showed off both his tantalizing speed and power, as well as his inability to finish. Kappo Kakko also nearly scored a highlight reel goal himself, carrying the puck through four Islanders skaters. Through the first handful of games this year, the young Finn has shown flashes of the strength and puck carrying that made him such a highly touted prospect.

The beginning of the second period was dominated by the Rangers, as well as Denis Potvin hawking his socks. The Rangers started the period on the powerplay, and would later gain another man advantage when Gauthier drew a penalty crashing the net. However, the Isles killed both power plays to remain perfect on the PK this season. Despite being heavily out shot close to the halfway point of the game, the Islanders staked a 1-0, as Kyle Palmieri fired a wrister past Halak on a broken play. It was his first of the season.

Although the Rangers continued to dominate in shots, the Islanders pulled away in the third. After sitting out as a healthy scratch recently, Josh Bailey scored his first goal (and point) of the season on a redirect in front of the net.

The Rangers had a chance to answer on the powerplay, but they yet again failed to convert. The Islanders completely shut down the left circle, and the Rangers were unable to adapt without the Zibanejad one timer. With five minutes to go in the third, Kyle Palmieri put the game out of reach, scoring his second of the game on another wrister.

Though the 3-0 result was far from what the Rangers wanted, there were positives in the Rangers performance. They won the xG battle 4.0-3.2 per HockeyViz, and the third line of Vesey-Goodrow-Gauthier seemed to click. Halak wasn’t by any means amazing, but he didn’t play poorly either. Rangers created offense but were stymied by a yeoman effort in net. Sometimes you play well, and just run into a Sorokin.

The Rangers will look to end their four game skid Saturday when they head west to face the Dallas Stars on Saturday.