The New York Islanders were hoping to at least get a split out of their home-and-home series with the rival New York Rangers over the last 48 hours. Think again.
After a 6-5 game the night before on Long Island, the two teams combined for a mere two goals Friday night at Madison Square Garden, with the Rangers winning 2-0.
“No matter where these teams are in the standings, they are always screwed-up games when the Rangers and the Islanders play,” New York Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella told the Associated Press. “I thought we handled ourselves very well.”
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist tallied his fourth shutout of the season, and Marc Staal registered a goal in the second period for the game-winner. Brian Boyle completed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds left.
Islanders netminder Dwayne Roloson faced only 21 shots on the night, but the Rangers allowed a season-low 17 to the Isles (The Islanders’ previous low-shot game this season was 19 in a loss at Los Angeles on Nov. 13).
“I told him after the game that he gave us a great opportunity,” Islanders forward John Tavares told the AP of the 41-year-old Roloson. “We can’t ask for more from him than what he gave us.”
After coaching his seventh game, interim head coach Jack Capuano is now 1-4-2 since he was named to his new post in place of the fired Scott Gordon.
The Islanders have a league-low 15 points to date, while the Rangers sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points.
New York will look to get back on the winning track when it hosts Philadelphia at 1 p.m. Sunday on Long Island.
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Written by Dave Thomas