Scattered Clouds 45° Good Afternoon
Scattered Clouds 45° Good Afternoon

Rangers’ woes on power play are costly in loss to Islanders

Marc Staal of the New York Rangers scores

Marc Staal of the New York Rangers scores a second-period goal past Jaroslav Halak of the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers’ power-play struggles continued during their 3-1 loss to the Islanders on Thursday night in Brooklyn.

They were 0-for-3 with the man-advantage against the Islanders, running their stretch of futility to 0-for-19, and couldn’t score with an extra attacker in the final minutes.

In their 4-2-1 streak before Thursday night, the Rangers’ lack of offense while on the power play didn’t really hurt them. But the closest they came to scoring on the power play against the Islanders was when Chris Kreider — with Jaroslav Halak out of position and the net half open — hit the outside of the right post.

“We’ve obviously just got to find a way to score,” said Derek Stepan, citing Kreider’s shot off the post and Rick Nash’s tip that went behind Halak and hit iron. “If we score those goals, this may be a different conversation. It wasn’t a lack of looks. We just weren’t able to bury them.”

Girardi out again

Defenseman Dan Girardi, whose hand was cut when he blocked a shot against the Bruins, missed his sixth game in the last 12. Dylan McIlrath, who played in only 17 games before Thursday night, filled in and certainly was physical, dropping the gloves with Matt Martin twice and delivering a half-dozen hits.

“It’s part of Dylan’s identity to be physical when he gets the opportunity,” Alain Vigneault said before the game.

But his aggressiveness triggered a roughing penalty early in the third period, which led to Brock Nelson’s power-play goal for a 2-1 lead.

McIlrath played 14:30 with five hits and six penalty minutes.

Girardi’s status for the weekend games in Philadelphia and Washington is unclear. Girardi, who had played every game through Dec. 12, has missed only a handful of games in his 688-game NHL career.

Blue notes

The final two games of the regular season between the teams will be at the Garden on March 6 and April 7 . . . Oscar Lindberg was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

New York Sports