September 29, 2007

Islanders Lose to Rangers 5-2

After all of the anticipation for the 2nd and final meeting of the preseason between the Islanders and Rangers, things didn't go quite as expected.

No, there were still fights. But some key players were missing from both sides. The Rangers had their entire lineup in with the exception of Jaromir Jagr and super pest Sean Avery. Earlier in the week, Avery had hinted at the idea of taking a run at some of the Islanders after what happened at the Coliseum last Monday. Even Andy Sutton spoke out on Avery, saying he should just focus on playing hockey. But it seemed everyone who was involved in the scrums last week from the Islander's side did not dress for the game. No Simon. No Sutton. No DiPietro.

Many of the players for the Islanders in the game will be starting the year in Bridgeport. With 3 games in 3 days, it seems the Isles didn't want to take a chance on having players get injured in a meaningless preseason game, especially with guys threatening to run others.

Brendan Shanahan scored twice, once on starter Joey MacDonald, the other on Mike Morrison. Also scoring for the Rangers were Scott Gomez and Martin Straka. Petr Prucha iced the game with an empty netter. The Isles tallies came from Sean Bergenheim and Trent Hunter.

In all honesty, there wasn't any Islander who really stood out in the game. Bergenheim showed some good speed and scored a nice 5-hole goal on Lundqvist. Darryl Bootland had a pair of fights, and will become a fan favorite down in Bridgeport, maybe even on the Island for a few stints. As for the defense, the only regulars who played were Bruno Gervais, Chris Campoli and Marc-Andre Bergeron. All 3 were OK, but they are definitely still learning. It is going to be interesting to see who gets that last spot on defense.

The Islanders play the Devils tonight at 7 PM at the home of the Sound Tigers, the Arena at Harbor Yards. The game will be shown on Islanders TV through NHL center ice. I would imagine most of the regulars will be playing tonight as the game is the 2nd to last preseason game. The Isles will play their final game tomorrow against the Bruins.

On a sad note, coach Ted Nolan lost his brother recently and did not make the trip to the Garden for last nights game. He will also miss tonight's game. His status has not been revealed for tomorrow yet. Our prayers go out to you, Ted.

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