After getting his first taste of it Thursday night, what did first-year Rangers coach David Quinn make of the Rangers-Islanders rivalry?
“I made of it that we didn’t play well enough to win,’’ Quinn said after the Rangers lost — again — to the Islanders, 7-5, at Barclays Center.
Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier scored his first NHL hat trick and Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after two periods as the Rangers fell to 0-6-1 in Brooklyn.
Lundqvist allowed five goals on only 17 shots. The thing that bothered Quinn the most was the fact that four of the Islanders’ seven goals came on deflections from in front of the net, something he said should never happen.
“I mean, they had three tap-ins when we were standing next to a guy,’’ said Quinn, who accused his team of being “soft around the net.’’
“That’s Hockey 101,’’ he said. “That’s stuff you learn in squirts and peewees, and the simple fact was, we didn’t pick sticks up . . . They just scored way too easily tonight, and that’s something that we haven’t been doing, so it’s unfortunate.
“Obviously, we got off to a good start and we couldn’t ride the momentum because we just didn’t do the most simplistic of things, which is when you’re standing next to someone, you’ve got to pick their stick up.’’
The Rangers, who had their point streak snapped at seven games, did get off to a fast start. They went ahead 2-0 on goals 35 seconds apart by Chris Kreider and Fredrik Claesson at 5:00 and 5:35, but the Islanders tied it before the first period was over.
Beauvillier deflected a low shot from Thomas Hickey over Lundqvist’s shoulder at 9:35, and 1:03 later, Brock Nelson deflected Nick Leddy’s shot past Lundqvist to make it 2-2.
“We’ve been talking about it,’’ Quinn said of the Rangers’ net-front play. “We haven’t been burnt by it, but it’s been an issue. And we’ve talked about it, and I know we’re going to practice it tomorrow, I guarantee that.
“You’ve got to have a little bit of ‘snarl’ around your net. That doesn’t mean kill people, but first deny ’em the net. If they get there, you’ve got to have a little grit to you and just pick sticks up. And that’s all there is to it. We didn’t have much of that tonight. It was a pretty safe place to be.’’
“They did a good job of getting their pucks down,’’ Kreider said of the Islanders. “Zuke [Mats Zuccarello] did an unbelievable job getting in the [shooting] lane and that’s kind of one of those where a guy’s in the right place and it hits someone five feet wide and it goes in. [There were] a lot of other deflections where forwards and ‘D’ both looking back on it probably would like to have done something different, whether it be pick up a stick here, get in the lane there.’’
The Rangers (9-8-2) trailed 5-3 after two periods. The Islanders got power-play goals from Beauvillier and Anders Lee to break a 3-3 tie forged when the Rangers’ Kevin Hayes scored a shorthanded goal.
Beauvillier’s third goal of the game, which made it 4-3, came at 5:13 of the period after Brady Skjei was sent to the box for an interference penalty that Quinn said was a bad call.
“I had a huge problem with it,’’ he said. “First, the ref doesn’t see it and reacts to someone falling down, which . . . he fell down. There was no penalty call, but you’ve got to deal with it. It happens to everybody and you’ve got to kill the penalty and we didn’t.’’