While it wasn’t an important game in the season by any means, the New York Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 2-1, completing the season sweep of the team’s most hated rival. Anthony Beauvillier’s hot streak continued for the game winner, and Mathew Barzal continues to put up points. Regardless of what happens after this point, the Islanders’ youth movement is actually very promising in a way it hasn’t been in a very long time. Despite there being little to play for except bragging rights, beating the Rangers is always a good thing, and the one victory likely doesn’t swing any lottery odds too far in any direction.
The Rangers opened the scoring when the puck bounced off the glass and right onto the stick of Kevin Hayes, who made no mistake in putting it past Jaroslav Halak. The Islanders had some good opportunities as well, but Ondrej Pavelec was up to the challenge, so despite outshooting the Rangers, the Isles ended the first period down 1-0.
However, that would change in the second as the Islanders equalized early. Mathew Barzal skated around the offensive zone and found Thomas Hickey, who took a shot from the point. It appeared initially to deflect off Anders Lee, but Lee shook his head, seemingly indicating that it was not his 40th of the season. While it was rewarded to him at first, the scoring was later changed to Thomas Hickey.
Soon after, good forechecking by Brock Nelson got the puck to Anthony Beauvillier. Beauvillier passed the puck off to Andrew Ladd, who then passed back to Beauvillier who had an open net to shoot at. Beauvillier’s 21st goal of the season gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead and continued Beau’s five-game goal streak.
Halak made a big save on Paul Carey in order to preserve the one goal lead late in the period.
Anders Lee nearly got his 40th goal of the season but hit the post. The Rangers had a four minute power play after Shane Prince high-sticked Rob O’Gara (who grew up an Isles fan!) and drew quite a bit of blood. However, the other New York team was unable to convert.
With a about a minute and a half to go, the Rangers pulled Pavelec and Jaro Halak tried to get in on the action, shooting the puck down the ice and narrowly avoiding an icing call. However, the score would remain the same as the Islanders defeated the Rangers 2-1.
- It’s always nice to beat the Rangers.
- Mathew Barzal now has 83 points in 81 games as a 20-year-old rookie.
- Anthony Beauvillier has closed the season out nicely with a goal in his last five games. I don’t think his demotion has much to do with his success this season so much as switching him from a defensive grinder to a top six attacking role gave him the opportunity to be the goalscorer he was throughout juniors.
Next, our regular season misery comes to an end as the New York Islanders travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Saturday, April 7. The Detroit Red Wings have also been very bad this season, but tend to play well against the Islanders. I guess we’ll see what happens with the tank. Please get Anders Lee his 40th goal.