Rangers outgun, outscore Islanders in big win.
The New York Rangers outshot their rival Islanders by a 52-20 margin en route to a dominant 7-2 win Monday night. Mats Zuccarello bagged his first NHL point, fellow rookie Derek Stepan scored for the fourth straight game and Marian Gaborik finally found form in a 1+1 night as the Blueshirts powerplay finally clicked.
Dwayne Roloson made 45 saves for a beleaguered Islanders side clearly struggling on the second of back-to-back games, the visitors failed to muster much offence outside of a pair of goals the Blueshirts would doubtless like back. Rob Schremp beat Henrik Lundqvist with a weak, floated wrister over the catching glove, whilst a defensive breakdown allowed former Ranger PA Parenteau to bank home a loose puck to Lundqvist’s side for a 2-1 Islanders lead halfway through the first period.
Marian Gaborik scored for the first time in four games, one-timing Marc Staal’s cross-ice pass past Roloson during a late first period powerplay, whilst Chris Drury and Brandon Prust both hit the post seconds later as the Rangers were denied a first period lead. The Blueshirts scored six unanswered goals as the game became something of a mercy beating for the listless visitors, Matt Gilroy scoring his second of the night before Brian Boyle, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko and Stepan completed the rout.
Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves in a straight-forward victory, his 15th and the Rangers’ 21st of the season. The Blueshirts sit sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 21-14-2 record and will look to strengthen that marker further when they head in to New Jersey tomorrow night.
Points of note -
#1 - Derek Stepan continues to impress in his first season with the Rangers. Stepan scored for the fourth straight game last night, recording his 16th point in the Rangers last 22 games. He looks comfortable at the point, works well with the majority of his team-mates and has already become something of a clutch scorer for the young Blueshirts.
#2 - Mats Zuccarello has put together a pair of strong performances over the course of his first two games. The pint-sized Norwegian plays big and doesn’t shy away from hard work. His secondary assist on Stepan’s goal might not seem much, but Zuccarello has shown far more than anyone could have expected over his first 120 minutes in a Rangers jersey.
#3 - Henrik Lundqvist, for once, was bailed out by his forwards after giving up another soft goal last night. Rob Schremp’s floated wrister should never, ever have beaten Lundqvist and is a prime example of ‘The King’ perhaps not being at his best when the opponents shot-count’s on the small side. Nonetheless, they owed him one.
#4 Brian Boyle scored his 13th goal of the season last night, a tremendous feat for a guy that’s worked hard to reinvigorate his career after a stale couple of years. He identified an issue, worked on it and is now reaping the rewards; long may it continue.