Islanders snap losing streak and topple Rangers again
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The Islanders' dominance over the Rangers this season continued Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Mike Sillinger tallied two goals to lead the Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the Rangers. The win ended the Islanders' six-game losing streak.
The Islanders took a 3-2 lead into the third period, having not lost in regulation when leading after two periods, but gave up an early power play goal to Brendan Shanahan to even the score. Like they've done against the Rangers all season, the Islanders persevered to score two quick goals to seal the victory.
"To be able to bounce back after they tied it up is a sign of a good team," said Alexei Yashin. "We got some breaks in third period. Hopefully, we can build some confidence off this."
Viktor Kozlov scored his fifth goal against the Rangers this season to put the Islanders up 4-3 with 5:17 gone by in the third period. While on a rush, Randy Robitaille slid it across to Kozlov, who one-timed it home.
Strong defensive work by Trent Hunter and Andy Hilbert prevented a scoring opportunity at one end and led to a goal by the Islanders. Just 27 seconds after Kozlov's goal, Sillinger made a great individual effort to put the Islanders up 5-3. Sillinger knocked down a clearing feed, raced in on Lundqvist while being hounded from behind, and lifted it over the netminder for his second goal of the game.
"I stepped in the way of a centering pass and got a good bounce," said Sillinger. "I was fortunate enough to get the rebound. It was on my backhand then was on my forehand."
Like they've done in all three of four games against the Rangers this season, the Islanders scored first.
Miroslav Satan gave the Islanders the lead at 5:31 of the first period. Chris Campoli shoved the puck to Satan, who fired a wrist shot over the glove of Henrik Lundqvist.
Martin Straka evened it up on the power play with a wrist shot from the slot with 6:59 gone by in the first.
The Rangers made it 2-1 with some tic-tac-toe passing. Michael Nylander fed it to Straka, who dished to Jaromir Jagr for a tap-in goal with 9:39 left in the first period.
Brendan Witt scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at two with 1:23 left in the first period. With a delayed penalty in effect, Robitaille found Witt in the slot, who fired the puck high past Lundqvist.
The Islanders regained the lead on Sillinger's 13th goal of the season. Trent Hunter toe-dragged the puck and backhanded it in front. Sillinger gathered the rebound and jammed it home, 6:26 into the second period.
"We're a much better team when we have all four lines going and contributing," said Witt.
Just 42 seconds into the third period, while on the power play, Jagr found Brendan Shanahan, who scored his 24th goal to tie it at three.
"You have to give this team a lot of credit," said Ted Nolan. "They were pretty resilient in their effort."
The Islanders travel to Boston to take on the Bruins on Thursday.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Mike Sillinger: Tallied two goals while playing against the Rangers' top line
2. Viktor Kozlov: The game-winner was his fifth goal against the Rangers this season
3. Randy Robitaille: Two perfect feeds led to goals
4. Brendan Witt: Scored his first goal of the season.
5. Sean Hill: Two assists and strong on defense
Stat of the Game: The defense pairing of Sean Hill and Brendan Witt combined for nine blocks.
Slapshots: The Islanders have won five games in a row against the Rangers, dating back to last season...Randy Robitaille picked up his first two points as an Islander...Radek Martinek (foot) and Shawn Bates (hand) were tonight's scratches...
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli 44 Freddy Meyer
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
10 Richard Park - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
25 Viktor Kozlov - 27 Randy Robitaille - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 51 Frans Nielsen - 45 Arron Asham
30 Henrik Lundqvist
80 Kevin Weekes
8 Marek Malik - 3 Michal Rozsival
51 Fedor Tyutin - 4 Aaron Ward
6 Darius Kasparaitis - 22 Thomas Pock
82 Martin Straka - 92 Michael Nylander - 68 Jaromir Jagr
25 Petr Prucha 5 Matt Cullen - 14 Brendan Shanahan
44 Ryan Hollweg - 19 Blair Betts - 18 Adam Hall
81 Marcel Hossa - 16 Jason Ward 41 Jed Ortmeyer