With Garden renovations underway, there is increasing chatter that the Rangers will open next season, not in Russia, but with two games in Stockholm against either the Los Angeles Kings or Calgary Flames. Those games would be preceded by exhibition games in Prague and Budapest and three road exhibition games in the U.S. After Europe, the Rangers would play a number of games on the West Coast of either the U.S. or Canada before returning for the home opener around Oct. 30. A NHL spokesman last night said that no contracts have been signed and declined further comment.
The Rangers were 3 for 5 on power plays, including Bryan McCabe's goal on a 5 on 3, and denied two of three man-advantage opportunities for the Islanders. The only Islanders goal 5 on 4 came from John Tavares at 15:57 of the third, with the score 6-2 and Sean Avery in the box for the third time.
"Special teams took over," said Vinny Prospal. "We killed some of their power plays and we managed to score on ours. Anytime you get a 5 on 3, you should be able to score and we did that." Said coach John Tortorella: "It's come along, we've got people making good plays. I think Zook (Mats Zuccarello) made some good plays. Vinny Prospal made plays that not many guys came make. I'm not saying it's dynamite and we've got it all solved. We've had the puck more, that's pnother key point."
Marian Gaborik had a team-high seven shots and two goals, six for the year against the Islanders and 20 on the season. "I hope he gained some confidence," said Tortorella. "He made some good plays defensively. God knows he had some chances in the first. He stuck with it. He has the Islanders' number, that for sure. When he moves his legs, he's hard to check." Said Gaborik: "It's always nice to score, Montreal (Friday) coming up next---it's a tough stretch coming up, a real challenge. They are a very fast team. It's going to be one of those games where we have to be good from the start."
The Rangers won 57 percent of the faceoffs...Of the 47 shots, every player but Steve Eminger and Marc Staal had at least one...Sean Avery, scratched on Saturday in San Jose and reinstated, played just 7:18...Thirteen Rangers recorded a point, with two each from Ryan Callahan, Gaborik, Erik Christensen and McCabe.