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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…