Marian Gaborik’s 12th career NHL Hat Trick and second of the season helped lead the Rangers to a 6-5 victory last night over the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.
It was a roller coaster game of highs and lows for the Isles, who fell behind early 2-0 in the 1st period, then came back to take a 3-2 second period lead, fell behind 5-3 in the 3rd, then rallied to tie, before Gaborik’s third goal of the night proved to be the game winner for the blueshirts.
Gaborik snuck in behind Isles defenseman James Wisniewski, when Wisniewski made a classic mistake, choosing to play the puck instead of finding his man on a play where his goaltender had a clear view of a weak shot, and was completely surprised by Gaborik, who snuck up behind him from in back of the net, stickchecked the Isles defenseman, and beat DiPietro, who was already on the ground and also never saw Gaborik coming.
It was a back and forth battle all night, where the Islanders showed both their inexperience and their energy. The Isles started out slowly in the first period, as the Rangers controlled the first 17 minutes of the period, and trailed 2-0. Late in the period, however, the Rangers got sloppy, and Zenon Konopka got one past Rangers starter and former Islander Martin Biron with :49 left in the first to send the Isles into the first intermission down 2-1.
The Islanders came out in the second on fire, and halfway through the period, the Isles had outshot the Rangers 9-3. Goals by Matt Moulson and Rob Schremp gave the Isles a 3-2 lead with 7:30 left in the period, chasing Biron from the net, who was replaced by Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers stormed back with 2 goals in the second (by Brandon Prust and Gaborik’s first of the game) to take a 4-3 lead after 2, and then Gaborik again at 3:31 of the 3rd to make it a 5-3 Ranger lead.
The Isles showed great resiliency again, battling back against their biggest rival, when Michael Grabner beat Lundqvist at 12:29 to make it a 5-4 game, and 1:41 later, Blake Comeau tallied his 4th goal of the season to tie the game.
Just as it seemed the Islanders were seizing momentum, their youthful inexperience would again rear its ugly head, as just :25 seconds later, Gaborik put the Rangers ahead with his 3rd goal of the night.
A clearly frustrated Rick DiPietro said after the game, “It’s brutal. Every time we seized the momentum, there was a breakdown, and they capitalized on it.”
The Islanders will look to avenge their loss tonight at Madison Square Garden in the second half of this home and home series.
PLUS/MINUS: Plus: Wisniewski’s first period assist gave him 15 pts, to lead the team. he continues to surprise offensively. he leads team with 13 assists. Minus: The Islanders power outage continues with the man advantage, they went 0-for-1 on the power play, and are 0-30 over their last nine games.
About the Author
Written by Patrick Creighton
Host of the Sportswire - Fridays from 6-7pm, on 88.1fm WCWP (NY), www.wcwp.org, and www.wcwpsports.org. Play-by-play voice for CW Post Football. Contributing writer to WCWPSports.com, ProSportsBlogging.com. Has appeared on 660 WFAN-NY and YES Network.