Official Scoresheet | Official Super Stats
By Jason Lockhart
After a hard fought 64 minutes of hockey, the Rangers finally came out on top in overtime, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at the Nassau Coliseum. With Sean Hill off for hooking, Brendan Shanahan threw the puck in front of the net to Michael Nylander, who re-directed it past Rick DiPietro with 48.9 seconds left in the overtime session.
The story of the game was penalties. The Islanders were awarded nine power plays, including two 5-on-3 opportunities, but only converted once. The Rangers, meanwhile, went 0-for-6 in regulation, but scored on the man-advantage when it most mattered.
"The team played hard today," said Alexei Yashin. "It was a big disappointment. We still have games to play and still have a chance."
Henrik Lundqvist proved to be the difference, stopping 34 of 35 shots in the game. DiPietro turned aside 32 of 34 shots in the losing effort.
"I thought we played a good game tonight," said Ted Nolan. "I thought we deserved a better fate. You have to give their goaltender a lot of credit. He played a good game for them."
The teams skated to a scoreless tie after one period, but not without its share of excitement. Bodies were flying everywhere as the Islanders came out hitting hard and getting their chances. The Islanders out-hit the Rangers 13-6 in the opening frame and led in the shots category 13-12.
DiPietro also had to be sharp in the first 20 minutes. With 9:30 remaining in the first period, DiPietro was tested when Sean Avery came down on a shorthanded breakaway. DiPietro kicked aside the low wrist shot to keep it a scoreless game.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead on Colton Orr's jam play at the side of the set with 9:23 to go in the second period.
The Islanders found life on the power play, 7:37 into the third period. Tom Poti's wrister was deflected just through the legs of Lundqvist by Yashin to even the score at one.
"To score, you have to be in front of the net," said Yashin. "There you can distract the goalie."
In overtime, the Rangers went on the power play with 1:13 to play and scored to grab the two points. The Islanders took home one point with seven games to play. They are now tied for eighth in the East with Montreal and Carolina.
The Islanders return to action against the New Jersey Devils, Tuesday, at the Nassau Coliseum.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Henrik Lundqvist: Allowed only one goal on 35 shots
2. Rick DiPietro: Nearly as impressive stopping 32 shots
3. Brendan Shanahan: Made the heads up play to get the puck to Nylander in OT
4. Tom Poti: Logged the most ice of any player and assists on the lone Isles goal
5. Michael Nylander: Scored the game-winner
Stat of the Game: Tom Poti logged 32:46 of ice time.
Fan of the Game: Bracha Khan from West Hempstead has been an Islanders fan her entire life. She was here today with her family, including her twin nieces. Brachakahn has a number of favorite Islanders, but chose to wear her Jason Blake signed jersey, which her dad won in an auction.
Slapshots: Tom Poti is tied now tied for the team lead in assists with Mike Sillinger (31)...Today's attendance was a sellout of 16,234...Scratches for the Islanders were Bruno Gervais (ankle) and Richard Zednik (personal)...Alexei Yashin scored his second goal and first on the power play since returning from injury...Rick DiPietro has allowed two goals or less in his past six starts against the Rangers.
Game Operations: At the first period intermission, a mite team - the Nassau County Lions - took part in an intra-squad shootout...The State Farm Family Feud contestant won today's game after correctly selecting the top choice of the beach for the question "What is your favorite place on Long Island...Today's Palmer Vineyard Vintage Moment featured the drafting of Mike Bossy in 1977 (15th overall).
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 44 Freddy Meyer
14 Chris Campoli - 6 Sean Hill
3 Tom Poti - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
94 Ryan Smyth - 27 Randy Robitaille - 55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
45 Arron Asham - 10 Richard Park - 15 Jeff Tambellini
30 Henrik Lundqvist
40 Stephen Valiquette
8 Marek Malik - 46 Dan Girardi
22 Thomas Pock - 3 Michal Rozsival
34 Jason Strudwick - 27 Paul Mara
82 Martin Straka - 92 Michael Nylander - 68 Jaromir Jagr
43 Ryan Callahan - 16 Sean Avery - 14 Brendan Shanahan
25 Petr Prucha - 5 Matt Cullen - 41 Jed Ortmeyer
44 Ryan Hollweg - 19 Blair Betts - 28 Colton Orr