The New York Rangers and New York Islanders have been a part of several classics in the 325 previous meetings between the two squads. The 326th meeting between the two had plenty of fire on its own.
Kyle Palmeri scored twice, Ilya Sorokin pitched a 41-save shutout, and the New York Islanders beat the New York Rangers 3-0 in front of a rambunctious crowd at UBS Arena on Wednesday.
“I thought we defended well. They are a dangerous team and I thought we definitely held them to a minimal amount and it was just our overall commitment, and battle level.” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said after the win.
After a first period filled with crease scrums, and key saves, the Islanders got the scoring started when Kyle Palmieri found a loose puck in front of the crease and got one past Jaroslav Halak early in the second period. Halak, making his third start of the season, moves to 0-3 on the season so far after signing a one-year deal with the Rangers.
“I’m happy with the way he (Halak) played tonight. He played a really strong game…I think we created chances, it was just that at the end of the night, their goalie was outstanding.” Gerard Gallant said afterward.
The Rangers led the contest in almost every statistical category including shots (41-29), hits (43-35), and takeaways (10-4), but the deciding factor was a lethal offense that was unable to take advantage of key chances against Sorokin. That also included a powerplay unit that was unable to score and is currently working through a 1-15 slump over the last four games.
“We’re going through a tough stretch right now. I thought we did a lot of good things but the puck is just not going in right now.” Mika Zibanejad told reporters. “Every team goes through it throughout the year and our tough stretch is right now.”
The pace of play was much faster than the Islanders were known for, but their perfect 25-25 penalty kill unit also played a key role in the victory. Josh Bailey, playing in his 999th game, later scored a third-period goal off a rebound where he got behind the Ranger defense early and the third, and the Islanders followed that up when Palmieri later tallied his second goal of the night to give the Islanders an insurmountable 3-0 win.
It was plenty of backup for Sorokin, and plenty of joy for the Islanders roster that got the leg up on their cross-town rivals.
“It always feels good. There were some things we liked about our game over the weekend so it felt really good to beat those guys.” Kyle Palmieri explained.
- The Rangers called up Julien Gauthier after declaring Vitali Kravtsov day-to-day with an injury. Gauthier had a nice start to the contest with a breakaway chance but was quickly turned aside by Sorokin.
- The Islanders on the other hand placed Keiffer Bellows on waivers before the game Wednesday. Bellows had played in just one game and did not record a point through the first six games.
- The Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak with their win over their rival Rangers. At 3-4-0 on the year, the Islanders have a back-to-back home stretch Friday through Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche respectively.
- It’s the other story for the Rangers. They have now dropped five of their last six contests with four of those teams being at or below .500. They have two off days before a back-to-back against the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes over the weekend.