Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Islanders 3 (OT)
March, 11, 2012
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: Brad Richards tallied twice, the Rangers erased three one-goal leads and Marian Gaborik delivered the game-winner with less than six seconds left in overtime to beat the Islanders 4-3 and snap a three-game losing streak.
Pair on power play: Richards single-handedly whittled two one-goal leads with his pair of power-play goals Sunday night. Notching his 20th goal of the season with less than two minutes remaining in the first period, the 31-year-old center carried the puck up the ice untouched before firing a shot past Evgeni Nabokov for the Rangers' first power-play goal in five games.
Richards tallied another in the second, beating Nabokov with a slap shot from the left point to tie the game at 2 before Andrew MacDonald's breakaway goal restored the Islanders lead.
Scoreless snapper: For the second time in less than 24 hours, John Tavares snapped a scoreless draw. The third-year center, who opened scoring in the third period of Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Devils, gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 10:15 of the first.
In what resulted in an incidental give-and-go, Tavares crashed the net after dishing off to PA Parenteau to bury a rebound for his 28th of the season. Tavares also picked up an assist after springing MacDonald on a breakaway at the end of the second. MacDonald beat Henrik Lundqvist for a 3-2 Islanders lead with 36 seconds remaining in the period.
Spoiled PK: A strong penalty-killing effort was wasted when Matt Moulson tallied his 29th goal of the season with 13 seconds remaining on a four-minute Islanders power-play. The high-sticking double-minor was given to Derek Stepan after the second-year center caught Parenteau under the coach, although coach John Tortorella did not appear to agree with the call. Tortorella was livid on the Rangers bench, presumably because he did not feel the extra two minutes -- awarded when a high-sticking infraction draws blood -- was warranted.
Mats attack: Called up from the minors to replace ailing captain Ryan Callahan (right foot), Mats Zuccarello appeared in his first game for the Rangers in almost five months. The diminutive winger, who has 12 goals and 36 points in 37 games for the AHL's Connecticut Whale, played on the Rangers' first-team power-play unit and skated on a line with John Mitchell and Mike Rupp. He recorded an assist on Richards' second-period power-play goal for his first point this season.
Exacting revenge:Rangers defenseman Stu Bickel got some payback against Islanders brawler Micheal Haley for their last rendezvous, a fight that left Bickel with painful facial fractures back in December. The two dropped the gloves 2:14 into play; it was the Rangers' league-leading 58th fighting major this season.