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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 24

Rangers 2, Isles 0

Dwayne Roloson was beaten only once.  Marc Staal scored a power play goal early in the second period and Henrik Lundqvist made it stand up from there as the New York Rangers completed a sweep of the home-and home series with a 2-0 win over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 18,200 at Madison Square Garden.

Joensuu Sticks Up for His Mate
A scoreless first period was punctuated by the game’s only fight.  After Ryan Callahan drew an elbowing penalty with a hit near the head of Frans Nielsen, Jesse Josensuu fought Callahan.  It was Joensuu’s first fight in NHL regular season play.  The Rangers outshot the Isles 6-3 in the opening session, holding the Isles without shot for the first 14:58.

Staal Connects on the Power Play
With Jon Sim sitting out his second goalie interference penalty, Staal connected from just inside the blue line to give the Rangers the lead for his 4th goal of the season 4:33 into the second period.  It was the Rangers’ fourth power play goal against the Islanders this season.

Falling Short
Neither team managed to score in the remainder of the second period, or for almost all of the third.  Brian Boyle’s empty-netter at 19:57 was nothing more than the window dressing for Henrik Lundqvist’s 4th shutout of the season.  It was Boyle’s 11th goal of the season. 2-0 Final.

Home and Road
The Rangers improve to 16-11-1, 6-7-1 at home. The Isles are 5-14-5, 2-9-3 on the road.  The loss extends the Islanders’ road non-winning streak to ten games (0-8-2).  The Isles have scored only four goals in their last six road games and seven goals in their last eight road games.

In the Nets
Henrik Lundqvist recorded his second consecutive home shutout against the Isles, having also blanked them on March 25. Lundqvist faced only 17 shots.  He has now appeared in 29 consecutive Islander-Ranger games since missing the December 19, 2006 game due to illness.  Lundqvist improves to 11-9-1 on the season.

Dwayne Roloson made 19 saves, several of the spectacular variety, but falls to 2-10-1 on the season.  Roloson was named the third star; he has earned a star in all four games that he has played at MSG for the Islanders.

Power Plays
The Isles failed to connect on their only two power plays while the Rangers were 1-5. The Isles have now gone 34 attempts without a power play goal, covering their last two chances against Philadelphia on November 6th and the ten games since.  The penalty killers have allowed four goals in their last 25 times short, covering six games.

As Seen on MSG+2
This is the second longest streak without a power play goal in club history.  The 1972-73 team had a twelve game drought without a power play goal.

In the Circle
The Isles won only 17 of 43 face-offs (40%).  Zenon Konopka lost six out of eleven while John Tavares lost 11 of 17.

Missing Men
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Milan Jurcina, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Mike Mottau remain out. Jack Hillen played 17:24 in his first game since suffering a concussion in San Jose three weeks ago.  Dylan Reece was scratched to make room for Hillen, as was Bruno Gervais.

Mac Back
Andrew MacDonald, playing his second game after missing the prior 15, led the Isles with 23:51 of ice-time. 

Streaks Stopped
Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner each saw their four-game point scoring streak ended.  The shutout also ended Nielsen’s four-game assist streak.

Back-End Boys   
The Rangers are 7-0-0 this season on the back-end of back-to-backs, while the Isles are 1-3-2.

Season Series Stats   
With the home-and-home sweep, the Rangers lead the season series two games to one, and have outscored the Isles 12-11.  The teams will meet again at the Garden on December 27th; they then will not play again until March.

Blanked in Manhattan
The Isles have been shutout by Lundqvist in two straight visits to MSG, yet still hold a 10-5-1 record in their last sixteen visits. He joins Ed Giacomin as the only Ranger goalies to blank the Isles twice at the Garden. Lundqvist is the first Ranger to shutout the Isles three times in his career.

Happy Anniversary
4 years ago today (December 3, 2006): In the only double hat trick game ever between the clubs, Viktor Kozlov scored four times for the Isles and Brendan Shanahan scored three times for the Rangers as the Isles won in the Garden 7-4.

Up Next
Sunday, December 5- Flyers @ Islanders 1:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 12:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Islanders return home for Mascot Day and entertain the Flyers on Sunday.  It’s the third meeting of the season between the teams with the Flyers holding a 2-0 series lead, outscoring the Islanders 8-2.   The Isles do not have an even-strength goal vs Philadelphia; Frans Nielsen scored shorthanded on a penalty shot in the first meeting while Matt Moulson scored on the power play in a 2-1 defeat to Philly four weeks ago.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources.
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