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

Federal prosecutors charge 3 men in multi-million dollar…

Federal prosecutors in New York charged three men in connection with a $33 million fine art scam that spanned more than two decades.

Local

Metro-North unveils solar-powered kiosks at Bronx station

The Woodlawn station will take part a pilot program to test solar-powered kiosk with real-time arrival and departure times for connecting services.

Local

Central Park's Tavern on the Green to reopen…

The famous Central Park restaurant Tavern on the Green will once again welcome diners on Thursday, April 24 after its closure in January 2010.

National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.