Monday night’s 7-2 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden is one the New York Islanders would just as soon forget. The Islanders were outshot 52-20, outscored 7-2 and outright embarrassed by the outcome of this game against their biggest rivals.
Afterwards, Isles Coach Jack Capuano was eager to move on.
“There are not a whole lot of positives to take out of this (game),” he said. “I’m sure there are guys in the room that understand that the battle level wasn’t where it needed to be tonight.”
Despite falling behind on a Matt Gilroy goal just 44 seconds into the game, the Isles bounced back to take a 2-1 lead on goals by Rob Schremp and P.A. Parenteau.
But with Travis Hamonic in the penalty box for tripping, Marian Gaborik scored a power play goal in the final minute of the first period to tie the game 2-2 and give the Rangers momentum they never relinquished.
The rest of the game, the Rangers dominated play and outshot the Isles 34-8. Only good goaltending by Dwayne Roloson kept the Isles from being blown out of this game earlier. The Isles starter, who was named the league’s first star for last week, made 45 saves despite facing wave after wave of shooters.
“[Roloson] has been good for us,” Capuano added. “It was tough for him. There were probably one or two that he’d like to have back, but overall he’s been good for us over the last week.”
In the second period, the Rangers scored twice more with Gilroy getting his second of the game and Brian Boyle netting his 13th of the year to put the Rangers up 4-2. They were not challenged again and added three more goals in the third period to provide the final margin.
“They work real hard as long as they feel they have a chance,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said of the Islanders. “After we scored the fourth one, you could see they got really tired and started making more mistakes.”
While the Isles were overwhelmed tonight, Roloson was willing to take the blame for tonight’s poor showing.
“It was just one of those things, some lucky breaks and bounces that were going off people and in the net,” Roloson said. “But it’s my fault. I’ll take the blame for the loss. As a goalie, you’ve got to give your guys a chance to win, and I didn’t do that.”
The win ended the Isles three-game winning streak and four-game point streak. They look to get back on track Wednesday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
P.A. Parenteau now has goals in three of his last four games and four goals in his last six contests.
The Rangers now lead the season series between the two rivals 3-1.