Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:BRONX, N.Y. — In the baseball mecca that is Yankee Stadium, the Islanders missed the chance to get two big points in the standings against the New York Rangers.
“You could tell the [Rangers] had a little bit more experience within the first period,” Matt Martin said. “They were chipping a lot of pucks out of the zone. Kind of letting the puck do the work. It’s not the reason we lost the game tonight. They had to play on the same ice as we did.”
A slow first period gave way to a more back-and-fourth second period that saw the Islanders outshoot the Blue Shirts 15-14. In the first, the Isles outshot the Rangers 10-6, but both teams struggled to hit the net.
The Islanders eventually took a 1-0 lead late in the second.
Brock Nelson was on the receiving end of some great passing by the Isles and scored on Henrik Lunqvist at 18:33 of the second. But 40 seconds after the Islanders scored, the Rangers answered right back. Benoit Pouliot put a rebound shot past Evgeni Nabokov.
Dan Carcillo played hero for the Rangers, 4:36 in the third. The Islanders turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Carcill scored on the ensuing rush,
“Obviously it’s a tough one to give up,” John Tavares said about the Ranger go-ahead goal. “We got to do a better job out there on our shift. Gaining momentum like that, especially how well we played to get that first goal. We have to be a little harder on pucks… That’s whats been our achilles heel at times this year.”
The Islanders are still seven points back of a playoff spot and are looking to enter the Olympic break on a positive note. They’ve now dropped their last four games with four contests left before the two-week vacation.
They take on the Rangers again on Friday at the Garden.