Rangers Vs. Islanders: Rangers Top Islanders For Third Straight Win
The New York Rangers took their third straight victory over division rival, the New York Islanders. The last time these two teams met, Brad Richards put away a late period goal to the lead the Rangers to victory. Tonight was a little different, score wise, but the Rangers found a way to get the job done.
Brandon Dubinsky started the scoring off, notching his second of the season and it couldn't have come at a better time. Stu Bickel picked up his second career assist on the Dubinsky end-to-end rush. Marty Biron was also penciled in on the goal and that would be his second of the season. The Rangers walked into the locker rooms with a solid 1-0 lead, after a great period of hockey.
Early in the second period, ex-Ranger P.A Parenteau cashed in just 18 seconds into the period. After a great first period, the Rangers had a lack of coverage which led to Parenteau being wide open in front of the net.
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It seemed almost instantly after the Islander goal, the Rangers were right back on top with a 2-1 lead. Artem Anisimov made a nifty move on the face-off, and pushed it over to Marian Gaborik for the tap in. It was said after the game that it was set play Artie and Gaborik have been working on, and it's the first time it's worked. That goal also Gaborik ties for the league lead in goals along with Phil Kessel, Steven Stamkos, and Johnathan Toews.
With about five minutes left in the second period, Michael Del Zotto put the Rangers up 3-1 with a blast of a shot from the slot. The initial pass by Brandon Prust was deflected into the slot, and no one picked up on it except for Del Zotto. He stepped into and wired it past Evgeni Nabakov to give the Rangers a commanding two goal lead.
Just a minute into the third period, Stu Bickel took on tough guy Matt Martin for his first career fight in the NHL. Bickel got in some good punches in the beginning, but Martin answered back with a few as well. Just over a minute after Bickel was released from the box, he came together with Tim Wallace in a scrap after the whistle. Again Bickel attempted to drop the gloves, but Wallace didn't want to answer the bell.
The Islanders would eventually go to the power play after the ensuing scrap. Matt Moulson tallied for the Islanders and brought the lead to within a goal. With about a 1:30 left in the game, Nabakov headed to the bench for the extra attacker. However, the Islanders turned over the puck as soon as he hit the bench and John Mitchell deposited it into the empty net.
After a few late chances, the Rangers would go on to win their third straight game by a score of 4-2. Marty Biron played amazing tonight, and improved his record to 7-1 on the season. The Lundqvist-Biron tandem, arguably one of the best in the league, has been great this season. Biron has been rock solid this season, and even John Tortorella says that he cannot even consider Marty as a back-up anymore, but the "1a" goalie.
The Rangers will be back at it tomorrow night, in a pre-Winter Classic match-up against the Philadelphia Flyers. Here are tonight's three stars of the game, along with the recipient of the Broadway Hat.