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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 34

Rangers 7, Isles 2

Long Island native Matt Gilroy scored twice—his first goals since November 28, 2009 and the Rangers bombed 52 shots on Dwayne Roloson as they defeated the Islanders 7-2 in front of an announced sellout crowd of 18,200 at Madison Square Garden.  The loss breaks the Islanders’ three game winning streak and season-high five-game point streak (4-0-1).

Early Omen
Gilroy’s first goal came just 44 seconds into the contest; the puck was deflected in off Rob Schremp’s stick.  It was the earliest goal allowed by the Isles in a game this season.

The Isles Rebound with 2 in 1:52
The Isles grabbed the lead as Schremp and PA Parenteau scored 1:52 apart.  James Wisniewski, John Tavares, Blake Comeau and Mark Eaton earned assists on the goals.  Parenteau, Wisniewski, Tavares, and Comeau each have 21 points to share the team lead in points.

Gaborik Evens It
Marian Gaborik tied the game with a power play goal at 19:09 of the first. It was his 10th goal of the season and 12th in 19 career games against the Isles.  The Rangers outshot the Isles 18-12 in the opening period.

Rangers Score Two In the Second
After Henrik Lundqvist made a big save on John Tavares midway through the period, Gilroy and Brian Boyle scored six minutes apart to give the Rangers the lead.   It was the 13th goal of the season for Boyle, who had only 12 goals in 106 NHL games prior to this season.  The Rangers dominated the shot clock 18-4 in the second period.

… and Three More in the Third
Brandon Dubinsky scored 4:14 into the third to make in 5-2; former Islander Ruslan Fedotenko and rookie Derek Stepan (goal in four straight games) scored 1:29 apart to cement matters.  7-2 Final.

Home and Road
The Rangers are 21-14-2; 9-8-2 at the Garden.  The Rangers have played better at home of late, and are 7-3-1 in their last 11 at home. The Isles are now 9-19-6, 3-12-3 on the road.  The Isles won consecutive overtime games on the road earlier this season, but they failed in their attempt to win consecutive road games in regulation for the first time since January 16-22, 2008.

In the Nets
Dwayne Roloson was named the Player of the Week earlier in the day, and made 45 saves.  However, he allowed seven goals for the fourth time in his career.  He has still stopped 151 of 161 shots (93.8%) over the last four games.  Henrik Lunqvist made 18 saves for the Rangers; he saw only one shot in the first 7 minutes of the opening period, one shot in the first 11 minutes of the second period, and one shot in the first 18 minutes of the third.  Lundqvist is now 20-9-5 vs. the Isles.

52 Shots Against…
…are the most against the Isles this season and the most vs. the Isles since Toronto had 61 last November 23rd.  Every Ranger had at least one shot on goal.  The 52 shots are the third highest in the NHL this season; Florida had 55 in a loss to Atlanta on November 3rd and St. Louis had 53 in a win over Anaheim on October 11th.

Power Plays
The Isles went 0-2 on the power play while the Rangers were 2-4.  In the four games between the teams this season, the Rangers have gone 6-15 (40%) on the power play while the Isles are 2-10 (20%).

In the Circle
The Isles won 25 of 55 (45%). John Tavares was the Isles best, winning 9 of 18 (50%).  As Chris King pointed out during the Islander post-game, Brian Boyle won 9 of 10 over two periods, and 9 of 13 overall for the Rangers.

Not Exactly 7th Heaven
The seven Ranger goals equal the most against the Isles this season; Carolina scored seven on November 3rd. It’s the first time that the Isles have allowed at least seven goals to the Rangers since a 9-2 Ranger win on Valentine’s Day, 1992.

Streaks Alive
Despite the loss, John Tavares and James Wisniewski each extended their career-best point streaks to 6 games, tied (with others) for the 3rd longest active streak in the NHL;  Sidney Crosby has a point in 24 straight while Ryan Kesler has earned points in seven straight games.  Parenteau now has his second 4-game streak of the season (also a career high), while Comeau and Schremp extended their point streaks to three.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Radek Martinek remain out.  Trevor Gillies replaced Bruno Gervais in the line-up as the Isles went with 12 forwards for the first time in three games. The Isles have now lost 196 man-games to injury.

Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 116 games since joining the team last season.  Frans Nielsen, Zenon Konopka, Blake Comeau are the only other Isles to have played every game this season. James Wisniewski is the only Islander defenseman to not miss a game due to injury this season; he has played the most consecutive games on defense for the Isles: 32.

Season Series Stats   
The Rangers lead the season series three games to one, and six points to two.  The season series will conclude in Montreal on February 10th.  The Isles have lost three straight at the Garden, including two this season.  The teams will next play at the Garden on March 15th before ending their season series on Long Island on March 31st.

Happy Anniversary
11 years ago today (December 27, 1999):  Roberto Luongo records his first NHL shutout, and only shutout as an Islander, as he makes 34 stops in a 3-0 win over Boston.

The Isles have played on this date in five straight seasons, and lost them all (0-4-1).  They are 4-9-4 all-time on this date.

Up Next
Wednesday, December 29- Pittsburgh @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

If the Atlanta Thrashers do not stop it on Tuesday, Sidney Crosby will bring HBO and a 25-game point streak to the Coliseum on Wednesday for their final game before the Winter Classic and the Islanders’ final home game of 2010. 

It’s the second meeting of the season between the teams; the Penguins won in overtime on October 15th.  While the Penguins will carry a 5-game winning streak over the Isles into the game, each of the last two have been in overtime and four of those games were in Pittsburgh.  The Isles are 2-0-2 in their last four games at home against Pittsburgh and are 3-1-3 in the last at the Coliseum against the Penguins.

And Finally…
Regular readers of The Skinny will note that there was a scoring change after last evening’s game.  An assist credited to Wisniewski was later given to Tavares.

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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