The New York Rangers (20-8-4) won Round Three in the Battle of the Big Apple, making it three victories in a row, with a 4-2 decision over the New York Islanders (11-15-6) on Thursday night hockey action. In a physical fast-paced game, that featured many nail-biting moments between these two Eastern Conference rivals.
Brandon Dubinsky (2) snapped a 17 game scoreless streak with a wicked snap shot at the 14:53 mark of the first period, to give the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead. The Isles found an answer in the second when P.A. Parenteau (6) banged home a booming shot taken by Captain Mark Streit (15) 0:18 into the period.
Parenteau once wore the Blueshirts uniform, now enjoys playing against his former team, recording five goals and eight assists in nine games against the Rangers.
Rangers’ sniper Marian Gaborik (20) made the score 2-1 on a backhanded shot at the 7:52 mark. The Blueshirts winger now has five goals in three games, while also recording his 8th 20-goal season in the NHL.
The Isles defense did a great job killing off a Blueshirts power play opportunity, but could not stop Rangers blueliner Michael Del Zotto (4) snap shot at the 15:25 mark for the 3-1 Blueshirts lead. Del Zotto now has 11 points in the last 13 games, as the young defenseman is having a comeback season.
In the third period, things started to get more physical, as two fights broke-out between these two rivals. The first exchanged happened at the 1:19 mark when Stu Bickel exchanged blows with Matt Martin.
For Bickel, it’d be his first scrap in the NHL level, it wasn’t his last as the Rangers blueliner was involved in a huge scrap between the two teams at the 7:31 mark.
Matt Moulson cut the Rangers lead at the 8:29 mark, converting on the Islanders power play opportunity. The Isles had plenty of other opportunities, including several stellar shots by Kyle Okposo, but Blueshirts cager Martin Biron (24 saves) who now has a 7-1 record against the Orange and Blue stood tall.
The Blueshirts 4-2 victory was capped-off when John Mitchell (2) tallied an empty-net goal with 18:27 in the period. Helping to set-up the fourth Rangers’ goal was Dubinsky (13) and Anton Stralman (2). Stralman made the great play on defense to get the puck to Mitchell for the score.
Before the Rangers and Islanders meet again, the Blueshirts will take on the Flyers for a Friday night face-off. The New York /Philly game is scheduled to air on the MSG network, with puck-drop slated for 7:00 p.m.
Written on December 23, 2011