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Rangers aggressive from start at Barclays Center

Marc Staal of the New York Rangers trips

Marc Staal of the New York Rangers trips up Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders during the second period at the Barclays Center on December 2, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

The Rangers were active and aggressive on Wednesday, finishing checks and drawing penalties in their first game against the Islanders at Barclays Center. But they could not convert on two power-plays in the first 40 minutes.

They entered the game 6-for-20 on the power play in the last six games. They didn’t connect in their only opportunity of the first period, at 14:57, when Mikhail Grabovski went off for interference. At 7:48 of the second, Josh Bailey was whistled for hooking Kevin Hayes, but could not solve Jaroslav Halak with the man advantage. In the first period, the Rangers also blocked 11 shots.

The penalty-kill failed them when during an Islanders 5-on-4 in the second, Dan Girardi cleared the puck over the glass for a delay of game and John Tavares cashed in 16 seconds later on the 5-on-3.

Raanta’s point of view

Backup goaltender Antti Raanta, who took shots in the morning skate from a few players, thought the view from his net reminded him of the AT&T Center in San Antonio where the NBA Spurs and the AHL Rampage, a Colorado Avalanche affiliate, play. “Behind me [at the end with the sections of obstructed-view seats], the stands went straight up like there,” Raanta said, “and the lights were bright. The seats are dark so it was a little hard to track the puck, but that will change with fans in them. And the boards are lively.”

Blue notes

Viktor Stalberg’s deflection in front that tied the score at 1 with 1:23 left in the second was his third goal and first since Oct. 19 against San Jose . . . The Rangers return for a rematch on Jan. 14; the two games at Madison Square Garden are March 6 and April 4 . . . The scratches were Derek Stepan (broken ribs), Kevin Klein (abdominal strain) and Emerson Etem (undisclosed illness).

New York Sports