Peter Laviollette was angry and emotional after NY Rangers loss to the NY Islanders

New York Rangers v New York Islanders
New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

There was a bit of good old-fashioned cross-town rivalry controversy following the New York Islanders 4-2 win over the New York Rangers last night at UBS Arena as Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette took exception to a pair of hits that he called "vicious" after the game.

The first occurred when Rangers center Mika Zibanejad glided into the shoulder area of Isles defenseman Adam Pelech near center ice with 11:09 left in the third period with play down the ice. Zibanejad fell hard and left for the dressing room after getting some assistance from the training staff. According to Laviolette, he did return to the bench but didn't take a shift after the hit.

"He came back from the end, from the vicious hit, he came back," Laviolette stated firmly after the game. "That vicious shoulder/elbow to the head. Watch it."

There's only one problem. When you watch it, the replay clearly shows that Pelech wasn't looking to make contact with Zibanejad, and it was the Rangers forward who skated directly into the unassuming Islanders defenseman, who he, himself, has suffered from blind-sided hits in his career.

"I was more afraid that Pelly may get hurt on that one," explained Islanders head coach Patrick Roy. "He's the one [Zibanejad] that hit Pelly. I mean, it was the opposite. I think that's what happened. It was totally accidental; there's no doubt in my mind."

"Kelly Sutherland [referee] was in a really good position to see everything, and he made it clear right away that it was accidental," Roy went on to say. “But sometimes, frustration makes you say things.”

The play that the Rangers head coach has a strong gripe about is Noah Dobson's check on Vincent Trocheck with time winding down in the game. Dobson could've been called for boarding, but play continued without a whistle as the Isles regained possession and Anders Lee went on to score an empty-net goal to seal the win. Laviollete also called the hit "vicious," but with Trocheck not showing any signs of injury, he was more upset about the Pelech collision with Zibanejad.

The Islanders and Rangers play again on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.