7:41 PM – First period comes to a close with the Islanders ahead, 2-0. Nothing happening offensively for the Rangers. They’ll need a big change of pace and strategy in the second period if they hope to win this game.
7:40 PM – As a result of the Okposo penalty, the Rangers get an abridged power play chance, but can’t make anything happen. Why not get Locke out there on the power play? He’s an offensively skilled player who lacks size and speed, so why not let him work his magic in a situation where he doesn’t have to be that fast or strong, where there is open ice and time to maneuver?
7:38 PM – More penalties. Olli Jokinen and Andrew McDonald will sit down for coincidental minors. More nonsense from Jokinen. If he could just stay focused…
7:36 PM – A weak hooking call on Kyle Okposo cancels out the penalty to Brandon Prust.
7:34 PM – Tough break for the Rangers. Brandon Prust gets called for cross-checking, but his victim, Matt Moulson, gets away with a retaliatory trip. Blueshirts MUST shut the Islander PP down here.
7:32 PM – The Rangers are missing the likes of Sean Avery and Ryan Callahan, both of whom are sidelined with injuries. There isn’t much battle in the corners right now from the Blueshirts. No one is going into those tough areas and coming away with the puck. No one is annoying the opposition enough to get their minds off the game.
7:27 PM – 2-0, Isles. Lundqvist makes the initial save on a tough rising shot by Blake Comeau, but it bounces off of the King’s shoulder and over the goal line. Tough goal to give up for Henrik.
7:24 PM – Absolutely zero play development offensively for the Rangers to this point. Not sure if they’ve spent even 20 consecutive seconds in the Islander zone yet, maybe once or twice. Certainly not long enough to set up a cycle.
7:22 PM – The Rangers are starting to show signs of life, having picked up the physicality. Still not much time being spent in the Islander zone, however, and as a result, not much offense for the Rangers. As usual, penetrating toward the middle of the ice is a huge problem.
7:16 PM – Through the first five minutes of the game, the Islanders have owned the neutral zone and thus, owned the puck, as well.
7:14 PM – Locke is on for his first shift, wearing No. 84.
7:12 PM – The power play success pays off quickly as the Islanders take advantage and score off of a one-timer from the point by Mark Streit. Remember when the Rangers could have signed him instead of Wade Redden back in the summer of 2008?
7:11 PM – Great puck movement by the Isles on this power play. The Fishsticks seem a lot more interested in playing this time around, at least to this point.
7:09 PM – Early on, the Rangers get called for a silly too many men on the ice minor. These kind of mental mistakes have been costing the Rangers all season long.
7:07 PM – It’ll be King Henrik against Dwayne Roloson again in goal, just like last week.
7:05 PM – Looks like Corey Locke will make his Ranger debut centering a line between Vaclav Prospal and Chris Drury. The Rangers can use offense from anywhere at this point, which is why the high-scoring minor league is getting a shot here.