Clear 40° Good Afternoon
Clear 40° Good Afternoon

The Wrap: Rangers dust Isles 5-0


                 Forget 3D.  Tonight's 5-0 rout of the Islanders was a critical 2P, as in points, which have been hard to come by for the Rangers.  

                        For Marian Gaborik, it was 3P, also as in points, as the club’s leading scorer posted his 38th and 39th goals of the season and added an assist to garner the first star of the night at Madison Square Garden.  Artem Anisimov, Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto scored in the first 8:50 and the Rangers kept up the pace for the remaining 51 minutes, a rarity at home.

                       “From the get-go we started off very good,” said Gaborik, “and especially when we get a lead, it’s way better, we have some jump, and then we just kept on playing. It was a great 60 minutes, and a great effort by everyone. We’re still alive and we believe, we just have to carry this over to tomorrow night.”

                         With the win, their first in four games, the Blueshirts, with 73 points, inched slightly closer to both the ninth-place Thrashers, who have 75 points, and the eighth-place Bruins, with 78.  The Rangers have nine games left, including a visit to New Jersey tonight.

                         “When we are where we are, confidence is a big thing,” said Lundqvist, who made 27 saves to earn his 23rd NHL shutout. “We didn’t complicate it and we didn’t get stuck in our own end too much. The key for us is to follow up a good game with another really good game. Hopefully we can get some confidence from this; when you lose, it’s easy to start thinking too much, but a win like this, maybe we can relax a little.”                        

                        The Islanders, perhaps, relaxed too much. “This was probably our worst game of the year,” said coach Scott Gordon.” There was “no question” he said, that goaltender Dwayne Roloson, “was our best player.”  In the second period, Roloson made 17 saves, including stops of breakaways by Erik Christensen and Gaborik with pad saves.

                       “Even with the lead,” said Anisimov, “everybody kept going, forechecking, hitting, the whole way. We were all focused on one game. It’s a long way but it’s a good start.”

                         Coach John Tortorella was pleased by the contributions up and down the bench and Sean Avery, in particular, seemed possessed and abrasive from his first shift.  With the Rangers ahead 4-0 in the third, on Gaborik’s second goal, a top shelf backhander at 10:44, Avery’s hit on John Tavares prompted Trevor Gillies, who had fought Brandon Prust early in the first, to pummel him, creating a 5 on 3. Dan Girardi’s point shot on the 5 on 4---his first goal in 23 games--- made it 5-0.

                         “We don’t have a choice right now,” said Lundqvist. “We need points every night and help from other teams as well.”

 Notes & Quotes

                            The Rangers had 44 shots. Everyone had at least one except Shelley and Wade Redden...Enver Lisin had five in 11 :07... After scoring one goal in their last 16 PP, the Rangers were 2 for 6....Ryan Callahan, who missed the last two practice with a sore leg from a hit by Zdeno Chara on Sunday in Boston, played 19:50...It was Lundqvist’s first shutout since blanking the Devils through overtime on Jan. 12, then losing in a shootout...Jody Shelley’s assist on Anisimov’s goal was his second in 12 games as a Ranger since being acquired from the Sharks…Brian Boyle, who was ailing, missed his first game since Dec. 21. Aaron Voros was a healthy scratch…The Rangers left immediately after the game for New Jersey. "I think it's at that point where we have to do everything perfect," said Girardi, "I thought we did a really good job as d-men getting pucks to the point and creating offense from that."


                      From the coach:

                     On Callahan: "It doesn;t surprise me. That is why he is wearing a letter."

                     On Avery, who played 16:08 and was credited with five hits. (Marc Staal led with 8)  "He has kept his discipline, but also has been physical, has been around the puck and has drawn a lot of penalties for us."

New York Sports