I wouldn’t necessarily call it “pretty” or “textbook” by any means, but for the third time this season, the Isles beat their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, in their building again. It was a 3-2 victory in overtime on a hard wrist shot from Kyle Okposo that beat Henrik Lundqvist and clanged off the post and in with under a minute left in the extra stanza..
The Isles scored the first 2 goals of the game with Frans Nielsen in the first and a shorthanded tally in the second by Blake Comeau after some fantastic, hard work from Kyle Okposo to get him the puck. The Rangers got both of their goals from Brandon Dubinsky, the first in the second period and the game tying one in the last minute of the third period. The Isles had taken a really bone-headed, too many men on the ice penalty with about 3 minutes left in the game, so with the Rangers pulling Lundqvist, they effectively had an extra man on the ice until Dubinsky’s deflection to send the game into the overtime.
After trading a few good chances during the first 4 minutes of OT, Okposo skated into the Rangers zone by himself and after losing the puck, he got it back again to fire the game winner and send the home crowd away disappointed. In fact, Kyle had assists on both of the earlier Islander goals, and, to me, was the best player on the ice for both clubs. Sean Avery, who got into a scrap with Bruno Gervais, played a very inspired, typical Avery-type game as well. The Rangers outshot the Isles by a pretty wide margin that was, I think, around 38 to 22. Let me also not forget to say that Dwayne Roloson rose to the occasion again in the Garden to make some incredible saves and keep the Islanders in the game. It was also a bit more spirited of an effort from both clubs compared to the last couple of matches between the rivals.
The Isles have to get right back at it for a 5 O’clock game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Hopefully, there is no “Ranger hangover” and they can come out to build off their modest 2 game winning streak.