The Rangers were relentless, the Islanders were determined and the result was a playoff type hockey game that unfortunately had to be decided by a shootout. I say unfortunately because this was an old fashioned rock 'em and sock 'em game that should have continued and not turned over to the shootout specialists.
The Rangers took eighty one shots putting 57 on goal and fifty six were stopped by Ricky DiPietro, the only goal coming on Petr Prucha's (16) rebound of Jed Ortmeyer's shot. The Isle's Jason Blake (33) put the Islanders ahead by putting one in off of the skate of Paul Mara. I guess now that Aaron Ward is gone Paul Mara will take his place on kicking in goals. I'm going to ask my friends at InsideHockey.com to see if they could do some research to see how many goals have been scored against Lundqvist off of Ranger skates.
The Rangers shot from everywhere and anywhere and hit posts, players but mostly they hit DiPietro. Let's give Ricky his due, he was outstanding tonight and was number three star of the game. Renney rotated four lines and they came in waves. Nylander and Straka overpassed and overskated laterally but Prucha, Ortmeyer, Isbister, Betts, Avery and Jagr never let up and never got discouraged.
The shootout? The Rangers went first again and Nylander's backhander was stopped by DiPietro. After Lunqvist stopped Satan. Matt Cullen gave the Rangers the lead by snapping a wrister past DiPietro. Lundqvist then stopped Kozlov and Jag had a chance to win it but DiPietro extended the game by smothering Jagr's forehander. This left it up to Randy Robitaille who was stopped by Lundqvist to the roars and relief of the crowd.
Now its on to the Island where Ranger fans will help Wang and Snow sell out the Coliseum. The Rangers have to play another A+ game to continue to climb in the standings. The Rangers with 71 points are two behind eighth place Carolina and have played two less games than Carolina. The Rangers play Carolina in the Garden Sunday but first things first as we have the Islanders Thursday and Pittsburgh Saturday, both on the road.
Thank goodness there are no shootouts in the playoffs.
ICINGS: Lundqvist is now 6-3 in shootouts and has stopped 35 of 42 shots. Matt Cullen's shootout goal was his second in six attempts. He was number one star and Prucha was number two star. The Rangers are 15-14-5 at home, the first time this season that their wins are higher than their regular season losses. The Islanders OT loss was their 11th, the most of any team among the top 12 contending teams in the Eastern Conference. Marcel Hossa was injured in the 2nd period and has a sprained MCL in his left knee. No word on how long he will be out.
March 6, 2007
Cullen delivers in shootout
Busy night for DP (56 saves)
Hossa injures left knee
Rangers Beat Islanders in Shootout
DiPietro Gets Record; Rangers Get Win
Cullen lifts Rangers over Islanders in shootout
Rangers shoot to 10th spot
Rangers Play Heavy Mettle
March 5, 2007
Surviving Rangers Want Isle Revenge
Rangers Need To Muscle Up
Avery Has Pumped Much-Needed Life
Rangers Try To Grasp Momentum