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Live Game Thread: Rangers at Islanders

The Islanders lost to the Rangers 5-2. Feel-good moment of the night belonged to Andy MacDonald, who scored his first career goal in the second period. The Islanders outshot the Rangers 37-22, but couldn't capitalize early or on power plays and finished 0-for-7 with a man advantage. Lundqvist and Callahan (two goals) were the difference-makers for the Rangers. Maybe a lost opportunity for the Isles to sweep the home-and-home, maybe the Rangers were bound to break out.

Three more games left between these two this season, the next one nine days from now at the Garden (7 p.m., Dec. 26). Enjoy your night.

Third Period

Nielsen with a tip-in in front of the goal from Sutton with just under 5 minutes to go, cuts the lead to 5-2. Isles keeping the pressure on up top, 3:52 to go. Lundqvist still being a menace.

Tavares misses a long shot off a power play with less than seven minutes to go. Plenty of missed chances tonight all-around.

Lundqvist and a Rangers offense that had been dormant for a long, long time are proving too much. Anisimov scores his first goal since Nov. 23, 13 minutes to go in the game. That probably puts the game out of reach, a wasted opportunity at home for the Islanders, who still lead in shots, 31-21.

Roloson gets beat on a 5-on-3 by Gaborik with about 16 minutes left, Isles trail 4-1. Might have to start taking some chances on offense to climb back in.

Early power play for the Rangers, that's where Callahans done most of his damage tonight. Nielsen's shot saved by Lundqvist, Nielsen took a shot from Rozsival, a few punches thrown against the boards.

The missed open net goal's really hurting now. Islanders are 0-for-5 on power plays, 13 saves for Roloson, 27 for Lundqvist. Offensive pressure has been there for the Isles, now they have to find the net. If they lose by one though, you can bet the open net opportunity will be remembered.

Second Period

Drury misses to the left with 6:48 to go in the second.

Nice moment for MacDonald, Streit and Nielsen on the assist.

Islanders get their first goal seconds later, MacDonald scores his first career NHL goal from the left side. 3-1. Islanders still have power play time coming. Okposo's power play shot with 9:35 to go tipped wide. Taveras' shot 20 seconds later also wide. Lundvist reels in a shot by Schremp.

Thompson somehow misses an empty net shot, Lundqvist fell. Isles crowd doesn't react positively. Pushes it wide right — it was a shot he had to make. 10:34 to go.

Islanders with a power play, Dubinsky picks it off has a two-on-one, Roloson saves it with a little over 16 minutes to go.

Roloson lets up another power play goal to Callahan at 19:33, Islanders putting too much attention on Gaborik perhaps, trail 3-0. The Rangers are finally showing they can score.

First Period

Okposo and Tavares have two shots apiece and the Isles have a 14-4 shots advantage at the end of the first. If they can keep this offensive pressure, could knot it up real quick.

Drury scores at 2:04, Islanders trailing 2-0. Letting the Rangers get some steam early was exactly what the Isles wanted to avoid.

Islanders give up the first goal at 6:54, Rangers lead 1-0. Callahan scores in front of the goal on the Rangers' second power play of the night. Islanders have outplayed Rangers this period, but trail. They've outshot the Rangers 12-2.

Okposo doing a good job working along the wall. Penalty coming against the Islanders with 7 minutes and change to go, Streit with a hold.

Isles maintaining possession, just one shot for the Rangers with nine minutes left in the period. Moulson and Dubinsky wrapped up after a Lundqvist save on a Moulson shot just in front of the goal.

Islanders have the first power play two minutes in, both teams were 0-for-2 last night ... Eight shots for the Islanders in the first six minutes, on their second power-play after a holding penalty ... Islanders have first nine shots, 12:35 left in the first.

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Monday's 7-1 loss at home to Florida? That was so three days ago.

By Friday morning, the water cooler Islanders talk could be of three wins over the Rangers this season, including a potential sweep of this week's home-and-home series. The Islanders (13-14-7) took a 2-1 victory over the Rangers (14-16-3) last night at the Garden and meet them again at 7 tonight at Nassau Coliseum.

It's an opportunity the Islanders would be remiss to pass up: They're at home, against a reeling Rangers team that's dropped its last five games and managed just seven goals in those losses. The Rangers benched veterans Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik tonight in an attempt at a shake-up.

"This is the time for us to stockpile points," Matt Moulson told Katie Strang earlier today.

Goalie Dwayne Roloson, pulled Monday night, made 25 saves Wednesday and brawled with Sean Avery in the second period, giving the Islanders a spark after a slow first period for both teams. Roloson didn't lose the shutout until the final minute of the game.

Andy Sutton said yesterday he just wants more of the same tonight: "This is the great thing about back-to-back games in a playoff-like atmosphere, when you get on a roll you can start something special."

Evan Drellich here to take you through the game.

New York Sports