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New York
Islanders
26-47-9
New York
Rangers
43-30-9

19 SOG
36 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NYI
NYR
game recap

Hot Isles goalie MacDonald stifles Rangers at MSG

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:56 AM

Nov. 4, 2008

• PHOTO GALLERY

By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

Outplayed nearly all night long, the Islanders, buoyed by two shorthanded goals in the third period, as well as by sensational goaltending from Joey MacDonald, stunned the Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

MacDonald, who stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced, nearly earned his first career National Hockey League shutout, but Markus Naslund scored his fifth goal of the season with Henrik Lundqvist pulled for the extra attacker with 1:41 remaining in the match. It was the second solid start MacDonald has made against the Rangers this season. On Oct. 27 he made 35 saves in a 4-2 Rangers victory on Long Island.

“We had enough chances to win the game, but it’s a matter of putting the puck in the net when it counts,” said Naslund. “And our power play let us down tonight. We have to be more dangerous on the power play, and, obviously, can’t allow them to score when we are.”

The loss was the second straight for the Rangers, who were defeated by the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Saturday night in Toronto. It is only the second time this season that the Blueshirts have dropped two in a row.

Despite being vastly outplayed all night, the Islanders scored the first goal of the game, while shorthanded, early in the third period to snap a scoreless tie. Rookie winger Frans Nielsen chipped the puck past Michal Rozsival and out of the Islanders zone, creating a 2-on-1 break with teammate Nate Thompson. Nielsen drove to the net, with Wade Redden defending, and fired a shot off Lundqvist and then off the left post. With Lundqvist searching for the puck, Thompson batted the rebound into the cage for his first NHL goal at 3:18, giving the Isles a 1-0 lead.

“The first shorthanded goal, I made a poor decision to pinch in and it created a 2-on-1,” said Rozsival. “And on the second one, I forced a pass. Basically everyone in this room played well tonight, and I made two mistakes that cost us the game.”

The Islanders struck for another shorthanded tally less than five minutes later when Richard Park intercepted a cross-ice feed by Rozsival at the Isles blueline and took off on another 2-on-1 rush. Park reached the left wing circle in the Rangers zone and snapped the puck past Lundqvist for his second goal of the season at 8:00 of the third period, upping the Islanders’ advantage to 2-0.

“It’s not all Rosie,” stated Rangers head coach Tom Renney. “There were things we could have done out there to have helped him.”

The Rangers have now surrendered five shorthanded goals already this season. Incredibly, that is the same total of power play tallies they have allowed this season, as well.

“The power play tonight was our Achilles heel,” stated Renney, as the Blueshirts were 0-for-4 with the man advantage, allowing the two crucial shorthanded scores. “Our power play hurt us. We had a pretty good game going. We were prepared to win 1-0.”

That the game was scoreless after two periods of play was a true testament to the outstanding play of MacDonald, the Isles’ 28 year-old goaltender who was elevated to the No. 1 spot with the recent knee injury suffered by the club’s All-Star netminder Rick DiPietro.

MacDonald stopped all 29 shots he faced over the first 40 minutes of action -- 11 in the first period and 18 in the second. He was at his best when the Rangers turned up the heat late in the opening period, and carried that momentum into the middle stanza. The better the chances produced by the Rangers, the better MacDonald played.

The Rangers tested MacDonald’s glove, but he was stout in denying blasts by Rozsival, Brandon Dubinsky, and Paul Mara. They challenged MacDonald low, but he turned away the likes of Naslund, Scott Gomez, and Nigel Dawes with sharp pad saves. And Fredrik Sjostrom even flung the puck from behind the goal line, trying to bank the puck off of the Isles goalie and into the net, but MacDonald made an acrobatic save on that scoring chance late in the first period, too.

“He played well,” noted Lundqvist. “He had some lucky saves, but he made some real big saves, too.”

After a nondescript first 10 minutes of play, the Rangers picked up their game and began dominating the contest with a ferocious forecheck, and a neutral-zone trap that forced the Islanders into one giveaway after another. The second period, in particular, was played almost exclusively in the Isles’ end of the ice.

Islanders defensemen struggled to even skate or pass the puck out of their own end, with the Rangers routinely forcing turnovers at center ice. Dmitri Kalinin, in particular, had a strong night creating takeaways in the neutral zone for the Rangers.

Lundqvist must have had to fight to keep his focus with so little action in the Rangers end. However, he was solid when called upon, denying Jon Sim on a partial breakaway midway through the opening stanza, and smothering Mark Streit’s deflected slap shot 15 minutes into the second.

Unfortunately for the Rangers, Lundqvist could not come up with the game-saving saves on Thompson and Park in the third.

“This was a tough way to lose a game,” said Lundqvist, who finished with 17 saves. “We played very good for the first two periods, but it’s not enough. We’re going to have to come back from this.”

The Rangers will try and get back on the winning track Thursday night when the host the Tampa Bay Lightning at The Garden. The Blueshirts have already beaten the Lightning twice this season, grabbing back-to-back wins in Prague against Tampa Bay to open up the 2008-09 campaign.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
03:18
NYI
SHG - Nate Thompson (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (4), Thomas Pock (2)
1 - 0 NYI
08:00
NYI
SHG - Richard Park (2) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 0 NYI
18:19
NYR
Markus Naslund (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Wade Redden (3), Dan Girardi (8)
2 - 1 NYI
penalty summary
1st Period
07:13
NYR
Ryan Callahan  Roughing against  Andy Sutton
07:13
NYI
Andy Sutton  Slashing against  Ryan Callahan
07:42
NYR
Markus Naslund  Interference on goalkeeper against  Joey MacDonald
14:43
NYI
Andy Sutton  Interference against  Scott Gomez
2nd Period
07:17
NYI
Andy Sutton  Elbowing against  Nigel Dawes
3rd Period
01:38
NYI
Mark Streit  Tripping against  Markus Naslund
06:30
NYI
Brett Skinner  Hooking against  Brandon Dubinsky
12:11
NYI
Jeff Tambellini  Roughing against  Nigel Dawes
12:11
NYI
Jeff Tambellini  Roughing against  Nigel Dawes
12:11
NYR
Nigel Dawes  Roughing against  Jeff Tambellini
12:11
NYR
Nigel Dawes  Roughing against  Jeff Tambellini
13:26
NYR
Wade Redden  Tripping against  Jon Sim
goalie stats
Joey MacDonald
Joey MacDonald
4-4-1
SA: 36TOI: 60:00
Saves: 35EV: 30 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .972SH: 1 - 1
Henrik Lundqvist
SA: 19TOI: 58:05
Saves: 17EV: 12 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .895SH: 3 - 5
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