Rangers defeat Isles on big night for rookie

The 19-year-old J.T. Miller had his first career goals Thursday. Credit: Getty Images
The 19-year-old J.T. Miller had his first career goals Thursday.
Credit: Getty Images

The youngest Ranger was the leading man on the night The Rivalry was renewed on center stage, as J.T. Miller scored his first two NHL goals in the Rangers’ 4-1 win over the Islanders Thursday night at the Garden.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 5-5-0 this season, and hold a 117-99-19-6 advantage all-time over the Islanders.

“I’m just trying to stay on an even keel here. Obviously it was nice for me but even better go get the win on home ice and a big bounce back from the last game. We just have to keep looking forward,” Miller said while wearing the Broadway Hat, given by the team to the game’s best player. He noted that his mother, grandmother and girlfriend were in attendance.

“It’s nice to get it out of the way,” Miller said of scoring his first goals at the Garden. “I was just trying to look past [the first goal] because we had a lot of game left so [I] just tried to keep plugging along.”

Ryan McDonagh and Marian Gaborik added goals. Gaborik’s was his first since Jan. 26, even though he is tied for fourth in the league in that category. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves. His lone mistake was yielding John Tavares’s fifth goal of the season.

“It’s been a bumpy start for us but we’re working really hard right to try and correct everything,” Lundqvist said. “I thought tonight we did a lot of good things. Tonight we got a good start.”

One-third of a newly formed second line with Chris Kreider and the returning Ryan Callahan, Miller opened the scoring 89 seconds into the match. Miller corralled a Mark Streit turnover at the Islanders’ blueline and sped past Brain Strait before roofing a shot over Evgeni Nabokov (21 saves).

“It’s so important for the organization to keep filling in with kids,” Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. “Cap world, youth, enthusiasm. [Carl] Hagelin comes up here and changes our team last year.

“[Miller and Kreider] have contributed in the first couple games. Hags brought speed. They’re two different type [of] players. I think Miller — he’s what, 19? — he has a lot of puck poise for such a young kid. He’s a bigger body. He’s a different type player.”

Gaborik increased the lead to 2-0 when he stuffed a rebound of a Marc Staal shot past Nabokov.

Tavares cut the lead in half at 11:13 of the second but Miller made sure the Islanders would come no closer with his second of the game on a semi-breakaway seven minutes later. McDonagh, who finished with two points in 24:42 of ice time, sprung Miller with a gorgeous headman pass. A deke opened a hole between Nabokov’s legs that Miller snapped a shot through to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead.

“I was trying to go right over his blocker,” Miller said. “I think it went through his arm; it’s nice for it to go in.”

The Islanders have lost three in a row. One of the culprits in the slide has been a suddenly impotent power play. The Islanders were 0-for-5 on the man advantage last night and are 0-for-19 in the last three games. Adding to the collapse of the Islanders’ specialty teams units was the fact that Miller’s second goal came on the power play.

“Some guys played tentative and some guys didn’t take hits to make plays. You’re not going to win like that,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. “I told them after the game that I was disappointed with some guys and their battle level.

Our power play couldn’t get it going when it was a one-goal game. Special teams are still a factor.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.