The New York Islanders have edged out the rival New York Rangers tonight by a score of 2-1 in a shootout thanks to some questionable shootout selections by Alain Vigneault and Kyle Okposo’s shootout winner at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York on a wet, gray day in the borough.
This was the first game between these two teams at the Isles new home in Brooklyn. With the win the Isles improve to 14-8-4 on the season, good for third in the Metropolitan Division. With the loss the Rangers fall to 17-6-3 on the season which is good for first place in the Metropolitan division. The three stars of the game were as follows, from one to three, John Tavares, Jaroslav Halak, and Henrik Lundqvist. The Islanders have now won four out of their last five games.
The first period was a bit of a slumber, but the game woke up in the second period when the Islanders got on the board after Dan Girardi sent the puck over the boards for a delay of game penalty, which came moments after Keith Yandle was sent to the sin bin for hooking Brock Nelson. So, Islanders captain Tavares beat Lundqvist glove side at 7:39 of the 2nd period, with 37 seconds left on the 5-3 man advantage. Later, with about two and a half minutes left, Viktor Stalberg skated in front of the Isles net, and put it five hole on Halak.
The third period and overtime were nerve racking and tight the entire way. In the shootout, the Isles went first and Lundqvist came out of his net to cut off the angles, but Kyle Okposo beat him to put the Isles in front 1-0 during the shootout. Nobody else scored for the rest of the shootout as the Rangers went with a questionable lineup of Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and the one that is truly out of left field Dan Boyle. In this writers opinion, the shootout lineup for the Rangers was completely mind boggling especially, Dan Boyle. Tthe only good choice was Mats Zuccarello who is usually good in shootouts.
The Rangers missed the net countless times, which cost them vitally in this game. Overall they turned the puck over too much, didn’t hit the net enough and just didn’t play well. Both teams had six penalty minutes, but the Isles were the only team to score on their power play opportunity.
The Rangers go back to Madison Square Garden on Thursday looking to get back on right track against the Colorado Avalanche. The Islanders have a day off before they welcome the St. Louis Blues to the Barclay’s Center looking to continue their recent great play.