December 2, 2010

Rangers 6, Islanders 5

Given the way the game started, if anyone told me that in the middle of the 2nd period that it would turn out to be a game of pond hockey, I would have laughed.

But that is exactly what happened.

A total of 11 goals were scored as the Rangers defeated the Islanders 6-5. For the Islanders, it was the first time they scored more than four goals since October 16th when they beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.

There literally was not much defensively in this game from either side. It seemed that no one wanted the lead.

What was one of the more encouraging items from this game, believe it or not, was that the Islanders twice erased two goal deficits. Considering how many times this team put pucks in the net over the past month (not many) the offensive outburst was great to see.

What wasn't great for the Isles however was Marian Gaborik's hat trick. Gaborik has been in and out of the Rangers line-up all season, so for him to be able to come up huge is a big story for the Rangers. They will hope that he can use this momentum and add to the scoring of Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan.

The Islanders goals came from Zenon Konopka, Matt Moulson, Rob Schremp, Michael Grabner and Blake Comeau.

Obviously, Comeau is the least surprising name on that list given how well he always plays against the Rangers. It was great to see him get the goal to tie the game up at five though. Despite the loss, here's hoping that big goal gives him the momentum to get back on the track he was on early in the season.

Grabner scored his goal on a tip-in off of a shot by Radek Martinek, but he played so well throughout the night. It's been really nice to see him perform as well as he has. He and Moulson have really been the Islanders two best forwards over the past month.

The Islanders only had one power-play chance tonight, and they failed to convert on it. It was the first chance since the injured Doug Weight coached the units. The movement was slightly better, and shots came from area's we hadn't really seen. When the Isles get more chances, hopefully we can have a better sample size and see if it truly will pay dividends.

Rick DiPietro let in some soft goals in my opinion. I don't solely blame anyone for the loss because it was one of those games where both teams let things get away from them, but he'll have to be a bit better. However, like I mentioned before, the defense did leave a lot to be desired tonight, and in fairness that shouldn't go unnoticed.

In his post game press conference, Jack Capuano stated that Dwayne Roloson will go tomorrow night in MSG. That's the right move here.

For those of you who followed on Twitter, you may have remembered me questioning John Tortorella's decision to swap Martin Biron for Henrik Lundqvist after Schremp's goal. It turned out that it was a good move and the Rangers stormed back to get a 5-3 lead. Even though they coughed it up, for quite some time that move really turned the game around, and it wasn't even due to Lundqvist. It was a while before he was really tested with anything tough. It was more just the Rangers responding, realizing how poorly they were playing after grabbing a 2-0 lead.

I would expect many of the same players to be in for round two tomorrow night. Both Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin got into fights, and given the nature of this game you can bet tomorrow will be an equally as fun re-match.


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