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Roloson gets no help from Islanders teammates

Rangers winger Marian Gaborik tries to score against

Rangers winger Marian Gaborik tries to score against Islanders goalie Dwyane Roloson at Madison Square Garden. (Mar. 24, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

If you were an Islanders fan watching last night's game in 3D, it wasn't just the funny glasses making you feel queasy.

Instead of gaining ground in the Eastern Conference standings and crippling their crosstown rivals' playoff chances, the Islanders practically granted the Rangers a timeshare in their own end during a dreadful first period that left them trailing by three goals and ultimately spelled their demise - a 5-0 rout at Madison Square Garden.

With almost unlimited access to goaltender Dwayne Roloson and numerous rushes, a desperate Rangers team took a 3-0 lead before the midway point of the opening period.

After a few scuffles and a couple of early Rangers goals, rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto converted a no-look, cross-ice pass from Marian Gaborik to tally a power-play goal at 8:30 that made it 3-0.

"Embarrassing," alternate captain Kyle Okposo said. "That's the only word for it."

The Rangers carved up the Islanders' defense, hoarding the scoring chances in the first and shelling Roloson with 15 shots.

"He is probably the only guy that can walk out of here with his head held high and know that he played a good game," coach Scott Gordon said about his 40-year-old goaltender.

Artem Anisimov scored his first goal in nine games at 3:12 and Gaborik netted one after Roloson did his best to hold off an odd-man rush.

Although Roloson denied Marc Staal in front, Brandon Dubinsky retrieved the puck behind the net and connected with the Slovak sniper at 5:45.

"It was a really bad effort," Mark Streit said. "It was a bad start, a bad second period, and after that the game was pretty much over."

After being outshot by the Rangers 32-13 through two periods, a depleted Islanders defense gave up two more goals in the third.

Forced to play virtually the entire third period with only five defensemen after Dustin Kohn left the ice with a head injury, the Islanders coughed up a pair - first to Gaborik at 10:44, then to Dan Girardi while down a man with 3:41 left.

The Islanders now face a cold reality. With nine games remaining, they are 10 points removed from eighth-place Boston.

"We obviously didn't come to play," Gordon said. "It was probably our worst game of the year."


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