Rangers may be ready to turn corner after win over Islanders

Marc Staal
Marc Staal and the Rangers won for the second time in three games Tuesday night.
Credit: Getty Images

The theme emanating from both the home and visiting dressing rooms at Nassau Coliseum Tuesday night was about the details.

The overriding messages, though, were vastly different. The Rangers believe they are fine tuning their attack, while Islanders head coach Jack Capuano erupted at his team’s lack of attention after the Rangers’ 3-2 win over the Islanders Tuesday night.

“We definitely felt we competed for 60 minutes,” Derek Stepan said.

While one game is not a panacea, the Rangers have won two of three and the collective effort against their suburban rivals may show a team ready to turn a corner.

The Rangers had more shot attempts than the Islanders, 59-46, even though both teams were credited with 24 shots on goal. The Rangers also took advantage of the man advantage, scoring twice on four power plays while killing all three Islanders power plays.

“I think [being proactive with the puck] is a big part of the success [against the Islanders],” Stepan said. “Just dictate, try to play your pace of play, up-tempo. That’s something we’ve been trying to preach all season long.”

The Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Chris Kreider’s power-play dunk 12:30 into the first period. Standing uncovered in the low slot, Kreider spun away from Andrew MacDonald and tucked a rebound of Brad Richards’s point shot past Evgeni Nabokov (21 saves) for his first goal of the year.

Cal Clutterbuck equalized 3:40 into the second with his first goal of the season — and his first as an Islander. Clutterbuck beat Cam Talbot high to the glove side with a rising shot.

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault nabbed Talbot to start because last night’s game was the second of a back-to-back, and the Rangers are beginning a stretch of nine games in 14 days. Talbot finished with 22 saves.

Selecting Talbot to start was not the only player personnel decision Vigneault made. Carl Hagelin made his season debut following offseason surgery to repair a torn left labrum.

Hagelin received 17:15 of ice time and recorded the primary assist on Benoit Pouliot’s game-winning goal with 6:14 left in the game.

“Felt good. It’s fun to be back and the shoulder was fine,” Hagelin said. “[Pouliot] battled through his check and went into the slot. I saw him wide open, pretty easy pass to make and he buried it.”

Befitting the rivalry, things took a turn for the bizarre before the end of the second period. With 41 seconds left in the period, Peter Regin was credited with the Islanders’ second goal although he never touched the puck. Travis Hamonic’s off-wing shot ricocheted off Talbot and Dan Girardi before bouncing into the net to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead at the second intermission.

The Islanders had a lead despite being outshot by the Rangers, 15-7, in the period.

It lasted for exactly 5:40.

With Kyle Okposo serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice, Ryan McDonagh’s power-play goal 4:59 into the third tied the game at 2-2. The game remained deadlocked until Pouliot’s game-winner.

Afterward, Capuano put the onus on his team.

“Again, it’s the same mistakes,” Capuano said. The Islanders are 1-3-1 in their last five games and have allowed 16 goals in that stretch. “Our defense read a 3-on-3 rush, totally off the charge that we just went over all week long. Our ‘D’ [has] to play better, that’s the bottom line. We need to win more wall battles as our forwards, but our defense has to find a way to play better. We gave up one goal 5-on-5. [The] disappointing thing for me is the things that we go over and the things we talk about, they make the same mistake again.

“[The] same mistakes can’t happen.”

Last night’s game marked the only time in the 2013-14 season the Coliseum would play host to the rivalry. The Islanders will be the home team at the Jan. 29 game at Yankee Stadium. The Rangers will host the Islanders at the Garden on Dec. 20, Jan. 21 and Jan. 31.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Local

NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.