NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Rangers outplayed their biggest rivals in every
way possible, and the New York Islanders knew it.
Mike Dunham turned aside 23 shots, and four Rangers scored in a 4-3 victory
"It was disappointing," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "They
outskated us, outworked us, and most importantly, outmuscled us."
Petr Nedved, Mark Messier, Matthew Barnaby and Tom Poti scored for the
Rangers, who have won two of three. The Rangers lead the all-time series with
the Islanders 85-84-19 but had to hold on when the lead was cut to one goal
"I don't think we're in a position to discriminate who we're playing,"
Messier said. "We're not a playoff team for the last few years, so I think we
have to take every opponent as a worthy opponent and a valuable two points."
The Islanders, who got goals from Jason Blake, Radek Martinek and Dave
Scatchard, continued to struggle on the road. They only have two wins away from
Long Island (2-8-2-1).
"Look at most of our (road) games," Islanders captain Michael Peca said.
"We get behind early. We're not committed to win enough one-on-one battles."
Garth Snow started his fifth straight game in goal for the Islanders and
turned aside 26 shots. It was the Islanders' first regulation loss in six games
(4-1-0-1) following a seven-game losing streak.
Snow, who has played well lately, came up with a huge save to keep the game
scoreless at 7:35. He dived across the crease and brought his stick up to rob
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 10:21. Snow made a
glove save on Jan Hlavac, but the puck popped out of his mitt and sat in the
crease for Nedved to knock into the open net.
"The last two games (against the Islanders), we've gotten some power play
goals," Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch said. "It makes a difference."
Messier made it 2-0 at 16:23. Snow came out to clear a turnover and got
knocked over by teammate Eric Cairns. Cairns was in position to block a shot by
Dan LaCouture, but the rebound was there for Messier to pick up and push into
the open net.
The nearly 43-year old Messier leads the Rangers with 11 goals.
"If it wasn't for Garth in the first, the score would have been 7-0," Peca
The Islanders got one back with 67 seconds left in the period when Tom Poti
accidentally deflected Blake's shot past Dunham with his skate.
"We just looked nervous or intimidated -- not physically, but maybe the
building," Stirling said. "We had no one playing with any kind of jam."
Barnaby restored the Rangers' two-goal lead 26 seconds into the second
period when he finished off a spinning backhand pass from Leetch.
Poti boosted the Rangers' lead to 4-1 when he flipped a pass from Eric
Lindros past Snow on a power play at 9:39 of the third.
Martinek beat Dunham at 15:39.
With Snow pulled for a sixth attacker, Scatchard put a wrist shot past
Dunham with 44.5 seconds left to make it a one-goal game. It was the Rangers'
first one-goal victory this season after seven straight losses.
"Yeah, it's never dull," Lindros said. "The parking fees across the
street are probably getting a little extra every time we play at home. When we
have a lead, everyone will be staying because we can't seem to finish it. But
the bottom line is we got the job done."
The Islanders appeared to be finished early, before making their last-minute
"It's getting a little old," Islanders defenseman Adrian Aucoin said.
"It's easy hockey when you're three goals down in the third period."