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Recap - New York Islanders 5 (EN), Rangers 3: Monkey off Grabner's back

Better late and victorious than never

What's that? Baby, who's that? Don't look now, there's a monkey off your back.
What's that? Baby, who's that? Don't look now, there's a monkey off your back.
Bruce Bennett

It was a long time coming, but our site is functioning again the New York Islanders finally won in regulation again. If much of this season's purpose is now lost after the miserable 38 days this team went through, they at least notched their first regulation win since Nov. 12 in a feel-good manner: By kicking their rival New York Rangers while they're down.

Two struggling teams came into this one and, as so often happens in this derby, delivered an entertaining and chaotic show that needed not any actual standings stakes.

The result, a 5-3 win for the Isles, leaves them deep in last place in the Metro (27 points) and keeps the Rangers in 6th (34 points), where they share company with the Metro's other uninspiring teams that set a modest pace the Isles have not matched.

Game Sum | Event Sum | Adv. Stats (Extra Skater) | Shift Charts | PBP | TOI | Faceoffs | Recaps: NHL | Isles |

Features of this one include another 2-0 lead, another blown 2-0 lead, two shorthanded goals -- one a penalty shot! -- to earn that lead, and a third period where the Isles actually pulled ahead and stayed there.

Oh yeah, and Michael Grabner hit the iron on a shorty chance once again, except tonight he scored, twice, for his first goals since opening night.

Other quick things:

  • Ryan Strome with his first NHL point, on the Brian Strait(!) goal.
  • The Isles again kept shots low, but then Rangers.
  • The Isles beat Henrik Lundqvist this way and that, so that was cool. Four goals on just 19 shots against him.
  • Matt Carkner was in for Aaron Ness, and took a penalty 'cause he'll do that. (But hey, there were a lot of penalties.)
  • Speaking of penalties, Eric Boulton actually got a penalty for spraying Lundqvist with ice on a hockey stop. Don't think I've seen that one before. Alert Player Safety.
  • The Isles have had such bad luck even when playing well over the last month, it's about time the breakaways (mostly) and bounces went in more than not.
  • It's fun to beat the Smurfs when the stakes are high. It's also fun to beat them when the stakes are so low that it pisses them off to lose to a "lowly" team.

That's a quick and dirty rundown, but since our post is so delayed due to technical difficulties*, let your first happy reactions in ages begin.

Game Highlights

*Apologies for all that, and thanks for your patience. We don't own the box here, we just rent it to cut hair in order to pay for night school. So we can't explain the site's intermittent issues, but we thank you for returning to feed the monkey, man.


26 Thomas Vanek – 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo

40 Michael Grabner – 51 Frans Nielsen - 12 Josh Bailey

29 Brock Nelson – 18 Ryan Strome – 15 Cal Clutterbuck

36 Eric Boulton – 53 Casey Cizikas - 17 Matt Martin

44 Calvin de Haan – 3 Travis Hamonic

47 Andrew MacDonald – 14 Thomas Hickey

37 Brian Strait – 7 Matt Carkner