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
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.