Dec 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates his empty-net goal in front of New York Rangers defenseman John Moore (17) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Islanders won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf : Islanders Daily : 12/21/2013

Islanders

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

 

For one night at least, fans on social media could be happy. There was no talk of unloading everyone on the team from management on down, no talk of draft choices or demotions.

That is the kind of reaction that typically ensues when the New York Islanders walk into Madison Square Garden and come out with two points against their cross town rivals. the New York Rangers.

The perfect game it certainly was not, as the Islanders put the Rangers on the power play seven times but they were fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of some soft calls that finally went their way and put 4 goals on only 19 shots past a beleaguered and struggling Henrik Lundqvist.  In fact, the social media backlash was from the red, white and blue side on this night with many Rangers fans lamenting the bad officiating and wondering just where their star goaltender has gone this season.

As I have always maintained when it comes to officiating, calls tend to occur both ways in a long season and almost always equal out when you factor everything in. But at the end of the day, you have to overcome the calls if they go against you and capitalize on the ones you are given. That is exactly what the Islanders did last night.

Michael Grabner, named EOI’s first star of the game, collected two goals, his first time finding the back of the net since opening night and Cal Clutterbuck played perhaps his best game in the blue and orange. Evgeni Nabokov had another stellar performance and has looked real good since coming back from his groin injury.

With the absence of the first line last night (save a power play tip-in goal by Thomas Vanek), the 5-3 victory would not have been possible without those clutch secondary scoring opportunities being cashed in. Something the Islanders have searched all season for finally arrived last night and the hope is that it can be used as a springboard for another magical run similar to what we saw at the end of last season.

There is not much time to bask in the win however, the teams first regulation victory since November 12, as Anaheim comes waltzing into Nassau Coliseum this evening.  The Ducks are coming off a win in Newark last night against the Devils and have beaten the Islanders already once this season in California. It will truly be a quick test showing if the Islanders truly gained some of their ‘mojo’ back after such a disappointing start to the season.

And let’s face it, we all need a little extra ‘mojo’ every now and then right?

 

In Case You Missed It

 

Around The NHL

 

NETWORK/RESULT  
FINAL: ANA (3) - NJD (2) OT RECAP›VIDEO›PHOTOS›
FINAL: NYI (5) - NYR (3) RECAP›VIDEO›PHOTOS›
FINAL: WSH (4) - CAR (2) RECAP›VIDEO›PHOTOS›
FINAL: VAN (3) - CHI (2) S/O RECAP›VIDEO›PHOTOS›
FINAL: FLA (2) – WPG (5) RECAP›VIDEO›PHOTOS›

 


METROPOLITAN

 

GP

W

L

OT

P

ROW

GF

GA

1

PITTSBURGH

37

26

10

1

53

23

117

80

2

WASHINGTON

35

19

13

3

41

11

111

104

3

PHILADELPHIA

35

16

15

4

36

15

86

97

4

CAROLINA

35

14

14

7

35

13

81

98

5

NEW JERSEY

36

14

15

7

35

14

85

90

6

NY RANGERS

36

16

18

2

34

15

82

100

7

COLUMBUS

35

14

17

4

32

13

91

100

8

NY ISLANDERS

36

10

19

7

27

6

90

124

 

Across The Bridge

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers also got a win last night, ironically defeating the Rangers AHL club, the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-0 behind the first professional shutout by Anders Nilsson.

Mike Halmo, Anders Lee and Pierre-Marc Bouchard collected the goals for the Tigers, who improve to 11-13-1-3 on the season. The official game recap can be found right here.

The Sound Tigers return to action Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena for a 7 p.m. contest against the Manchester Monarchs.

Prospect Watch : GP-G-A-PTS

Anders Lee             28-11-12-23

Mike Halmo            27-11-8-19

Johan Sundstrom 26-4-10-14

 

Matt Donovan        11-2-9-11

Andrey Pedan        9-2-3-5

 

Anders Nilsson      3.04, .897

Kenny Reiter           3.03, .898

 

 

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