Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
Rangers 4, Islanders 1.
Team notes: – The Rangers posted their 30th win of the season with a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders tonight at Madison Square Garden, to extend their winning streak to three games. The Blueshirts tallied three goals in the game’s final 7:46 to break a 1-1 tie. The Rangers have now won 14 of their last 20 games (14-5-1) and nine of their last 12 (9-3-0). – The Blueshirts improved to 30-23-3 overall (63 pts), including a 13-13-3 mark at home this season. The Rangers have registered a point in eight of their last 11 games at Madison Square Garden (7-3-1) and 10 of their last 14 at home (8-4-2). – The Rangers have now held opponents to two goals or fewer in 10 of their last 12 contests, nine of the last 11 at home, and 33 of 56 games overall this season. – The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in 20 of their last 25 games against the Islanders, posting a record of 17-5-3 over the span, and have won eight of their last 11 games against the Islanders at Madison Square Garden. – The Rangers won 36-63 faceoffs (57%) in the contest, led by Derek Stepan’s game-high, 12 faceoff wins (12-18, 67%). – The Blueshirts were credited with 18 blocked shots, including four players with two or more blocked shots in the contest. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh tied for the game-high with four blocked shots apiece.
Player notes: – Henrik Lundqvist posted his 20th win of the season with a 38-save effort, and improve to 20-18-3 overall with a 10-11-3 mark at home this season. He has held opponents to two goals or less in nine of his last 10 games (8-2-0, 1.50 goals against average, .951 save percentage, and one shutout over the span), and is 10-3-1 with a 1.91 goals against average, .938 save percentage, and one shutout in his last 14. Tonight was the 11th time this season he posted 30 or more saves, and is now 8-2-1 with a 2.26 goals against average, .939 save percentage, and one shutout in those contests. Lundqvist is the only goalie in the league with an active streak of nine straight 20-win seasons. – Lundqvist is now four wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and five wins shy of Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories. Lundqvist’s appearance tonight was the 553rd of his career, moving him into a tie with Tiny Thompson for 50th on the NHL’s all-time goaltender appearances list. – Derick Brassard registered his 30th point of the season with the game-winning goal at 12:14 of the third period, led all skaters with eight shots, and won 10-15 faceoffs (67%) in 14:40 of ice time. The goal extended his point streak to three games (one goal, three assists over the span), and moved him into a tie for fourth on the team in points. It is the fourth time in his career he reached the 30-point mark. – Brian Boyle notched the game’s opening goal at 3:29 of the first period to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, two assists over the span). He is now five points shy of his 100th career point. – Marc Staal tallied two assists, including the primary assist on the game-winning goal, and posted a plus-two rating in 22:43 of ice time. He has two multi-point efforts in the last three games, registering four points (one goal, three assists) over the span. – Brad Richards notched a goal and posted a plus-two rating in 19:37 of ice time. He has now tallied 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 14 games, and is tied for the team lead with 39 points this season. – Mats Zuccarello recorded an assist on the game-winning goal to extend his point streak to three games (two goals, two assists over the span), and was credited with three shots and two hits in 14:20 of ice time. He has registered a point in eight of the last 12 games (five goals, four assists during the stretch), and is tied for the team lead with 39 points this season. – Ryan McDonagh notched an empty net goal with 0:01 remaining in regulation, tied for the game-high with four blocked shots, and led all skaters with 23:56 of ice time. The goal was his 30th point and career-high, eight goal of the season. It is the second time McDonagh has reached the 30-point mark in his career, and he is now tied for fourth on the team in points this season. – Dominic Moore registered the lone assist on McDonagh’s empty net goal to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, three assists during the streak). He has now recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in the last six games. – Ryan Callahan tallied an assist, four shots, two hits, and won 3-5 faceoffs (60%) in 18:44 of ice time. He has now recorded two assists in the last three games. – Carl Hagelin registered an assist on Brad Richards’ third period goal and was credited with one takeaway in 17:37 of ice time. He has notched two points (one goal, one assist) in the last three games. – Anton Stralman posted a game-high, plus-three rating in 20:51 of ice time. He is now plus-eight in the last three contests.
Alain Vigneault on the Islanders… “This is a team that we have played three times here in the last five games. This is a team that we know real well. We know their tendencies. We know their strengths and we know what we need to do against them. We played on the ice against them and have watched a ton of video on what we needed to do. That 25 minute stretch there when we seemed to spend most of the time in our end and that’s when our goalie came up as big as he has all season for us. He made some unreal saves and had total control and permitted us to bring it to the third. Then we played a real solid third period.”
Henrik Lundqvist on tonight’s game… “It was good to be back on the Garden ice. It felt really good. Preparations are back to normal and it was a fun game. It was a lot of fun to be out there. It was intense and there were chances both ways. I thought both teams played real well and real hard. Going down the stretch you are going to see more and more of these types of games where you have to work really hard to get in front of the net and the little plays will be the difference.”
Marc Staal on tonight’s game… “We have found a certain comfort level with the way we’re playing. We know what we expect of ourselves, we know what we have to do to win hockey games. We have been able to go into games with guys knowing their roles to make that happen. The effort, that consistency has been there, and we’ve been able to win more consistently.”
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