Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Islanders 2
November, 15, 2011
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
What it means: The red-hot Rangers won their seventh straight with a 4-2 defeat of the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum for the team's longest winning streak in more than two years. While the Rangers improved to 10-3-3, the Islanders fell to 4-8-3 after dropping their tenth in 11 games.
Go-ahead goal: Brad Richards snapped a 2-2 tie at 15:05 of the third with his slapshot from the left circle, his second game-winner of the season. Brandon Dubinsky, who intercepted Josh Bailey's clearing attempt at the blue line, picked up an assist on the play.
Moulson scores on man-advantage: After four failed attempts, the Islanders tied the game to cash in on their fifth power-play opportunity of the night. Matt Moulson tallied his fifth goal of the season, converting a feed from John Tavares to knot the teams at 2 at 6:58 of the third.
Chipping in offensively: With his goal at 6:07 of the second period, Steve Eminger became the fifth defenseman to score a goal for the Rangers this season. The team now has 10 goals from their blue line; 22-year-old Ryan McDonagh leads the pack with three.
New season for Nino: 19-year-old Swiss winger Nino Niederreiter made his season debut for the Isles after missing the first six weeks of the season with a groin injury suffered in September. Niederreiter, who played nine games last season before being sent back to his junior club, skated on the team’s third line with Blake Comeau and Marty Reasoner.
Avery scores again: Notorious agitator Sean Avery scored his second goal in as many games to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period. Avery, who was promoted to the third line after a strong performance Friday against the Hurricanes, buried his own rebound from the left circle at 14:43.
Rivalry restored: A chippy second period featured two fights -- one between Avery and Mike Mottau and the other between Matt Martin and Brandon Prust. Mottau’s scrap with Avery wasn’t his first -- the two also fought while Mottau was playing for the Devils back in 2009.
Okposo scratched: For the first time in his NHL career, Kyle Okposo missed a game as a healthy scratch. The Islanders sat the struggling 23-year-old forward, who has not scored a goal in 14 games this season. Okposo finished with five goals last season after missing 44 games with a shoulder injury and scored 19 one year prior during his second full season with the team in 2009-10.
Up next: Islanders vs. Canadiens, Thursday at 7 p.m.; Rangers vs. Canadiens, Saturday at 7 p.m.