No lead is safe against the New York Islanders.
Lane Lambert’s “never say die” group scored three unanswered goals in the final period, and the Islanders stunned the New York Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. For the second straight game, the Rangers blew a two-goal advantage and for the second straight game, the Islanders came back from a two-goal deficit to secure another win.
“I just think our guys have a lot of heart. They believe and don’t quit.”Islanders coach Lane Lambert told reporters after the game.
A Jimmy Vesey tripping call set up the first goal of the game when Kyle Palmieri scored on the man advantage for an early 1-0 Islanders lead. The score was Palmieri’s fifth goal of the season and third in two games against the Rangers. Lambert’s squad came into the game ranked 27th in the NHL on the powerplay. Palmieri’s goal would not be the only chance for the Isles.
The Rangers would bounce back and dominate the game shortly after. Filip Chytil tied the contest at one midway through the first period, and the Blueshirts powerplay would score twice on the powerplay in the second. With a 3-1 lead, the Rangers and their fans expected their recent woes to have come to a resounding close.
That isn’t the way the Islanders play though. Adam Pelech scored 15 seconds into the third period and a second powerplay goal from the Isles would tie the game at three. Anders Lee would score off a Jacob Trouba turnover that stunned not only the Madison Square Garden crowd but also the New York Rangers.
“I think we played on our heels a little bit, trying to win the game but trying not to lose. Obviously, if you sit back on your heels and don’t take advantage of your opportunities, they are going to capitalize on it” Vincent Trocheck told reporters after the game.
Tuesday’s game wasn’t without controversy. In the second period, an apparent Chris Kreider goal was overturned when the replay showed the puck did not go all the way through the goalline. Anders Lee’s game-winning goal came on an apparent penalty from the Islanders captain that went uncalled.
“I’m not going to say it, but you’ve seen the last two goals and what the situations were,” Gallant said. “I thought we played well enough to win tonight.”
The Islanders’ win puts them in second place in a competitive Metro division, as well as the season tiebreaker over the Rangers. The two teams will meet just once more on December 22nd at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers have now dropped their third straight game: their second three-game slide on the young NHL season, and play the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. The Islanders meanwhile have won four of their first five games in November and play Arizona on Thursday night.
- The Islanders did not have Cal Clutterbuck play in Tuesday’s contest and did not disclose a reason as to why. Ryan Lindgren and Julien Gauthier were both kept out of the Rangers lineup due to upper body injuries and are considered day-to-day by Gerard Gallant.
- Tuesday was the 200th game for Artemi Panarin in a Ranger uniform and he tallied two assists on the night. Panarin came into the game with a team-leading 17 points and 12 assists.
- Filip Chytil’s goal broke a 12-period scoreless streak from Semyon Varlamov at Madison Square Garden. It’s the eighth win for the Islanders over their rivals in the last 10 games.