The New York Islanders exploded for 4 goals in less than eleven minutes to beat the New York Rangers 6-3 at Madison Square Garden. Kyle Okposo netted his 100th career goal :48 seconds into the final frame to start an offensive onslaught that led to the Garden faithful heading for an early exit. Brock Nelson contributed to his league leading point total of 7 with the eventual game winner off a pretty feed from Ryan Strome. As mentioned in our game preview, the line of Strome, Frans Nielsen and Nikolay Kulemin needed to play well to win and they did just that. With the Isles down 2-1 in the second John Tavares benefitted from a great shift by Bailey and Kulemin causing a turnover in the slot. JT never hesitated and ripped a wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game up.
Oct 14, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Rangers outshot the Islanders 43-27 for the game and if it wasn’t for Jaroslav Halak playing superb in the second period, the Isles could have been in a deep hole early. The stellar play of Halak was necessary as the Isles continued to struggle getting pucks through the neutral zone, and committed a rash of turnovers in the first and second periods. During the second intermission Tavares was asked what the team needed to do to play better and his answer was simple; stop turning the puck over.
The Rangers got on the board first with a goal by Rick Nash, who continued his hot streak. Nash would add another goal late in the third to make it 6 goals in the first 4 games, which leads the league. As the Islanders were struggling to gain momentum in the first period, Ryan McDonagh interfered with Cory Conacher which sent the Islanders to their first Power-Play of the night. Johnny “Rocket” Boychuk got the Isles on the board with his 2nd PPG of the year, blasting a slap shot past Lundqvist at 10:31 of the first.
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Islander fans were audible on the game broadcast, especially late in the game after most Ranger fans had left. Tonights win was a great answer to a tough test for the Isles in this young season. The Islanders have the San Jose Sharks at home next, and hope to continue their hot start and undefeated streak.
– Boychuk’s goal was the Islanders 4th PPG out of 11 chances and they finished the game 1 for 4. So far this season the Isles Power-Play is 5 for 12 (41.7%) and is tied for 3rd in the league.
– The Islanders Penalty Kill held the Rangers to an 0 for 4 night, increasing their PK to 66.7%. The Rangers are 0 for 12 to start the season on the Power-Play.
– John Tavares leads the league in assists with 5 after tallying the primary assist on a third period goal by Nick Leddy.
1: Jaroslav Halak- 40 saves on 43 shots
2: Kyle Okposo- 1 goal, 1 assist, -1 overall.
3: John Tavares- 1 goal, 1 assist, +1 overall.