March 31, 2010
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Marian Gaborikm became only the 17th player in Ranger history to record 40 goals as the Rangers rallied from a 2-0 deficit and defeated the Isles 4-3 on Tuesday at the Coliseum, effectively extinguishing the Isles' playoff hopes. On to the trick:
1. The Isles started well. After the Rangers were caught for too many men just 1:12 in, Mark Streit converted on the power play at 2:09. It was his 9th power play goal of the season, tying Drew Doughty and Mike Green for the NHL lead among defensemen. The Isles dominated play throughout most of the first period and upped their advantage to 2-0 on Blake Comeau's 13th goal of the season and first since March 2nd.
2. The Rangers grabbed control of the game in the second period, scoring three times and killing off a 59 second 5-on-3. Vinny Prospal, Olli Jokinen, and Gaborik had the Ranger goals. It was Gaborik's fourth goal of the season against the Isles.
3. Marc Staal's first goal since January 19th gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead 5:05 into the third period. Staal's goal became the game-winner when Comeau scored his second goal of the game with 6:33 to play. It's the 3rd time in the last 15 games that Comeau has recorded at least two goals.
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4. The Isles went 1-4 on the power play while the Rangers were 0-2. The Isles finished the season 2-21 against the Rangers, while the Blueshirts were 5-27 with the extra man. The Isles have now scored two power play goals in their last 49 attempts against the Rangers.
5. Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves to record his 31st win of the season. He is now 17-8-5 in his career against the Isles. Dwayne Roloson finished with 23 saves for the Isles. The Isles have been held to 32 shots or fewer in 11 straight games, after totalling 32 shots or more in ten of the prior 11 games.
6. Richard Park won 15-of-20 faceoffs, assisted on Comeau's first goal, and was +1. The Isles won 32 of 53 face-offs overall.
7. The loss breaks an Islander three-game home win streak (and four-game home point streak).
8. It's the eighth time this season that the Isles have lost a game (three in regulation, five in overtime or shootout) that they have led by two goals at some point. That makes a total of 11 points lost by the Isles in games that they had at least a two goal lead.
9. The Isles finish March with a 6-6-3 record. It's the fourth time this season that the Isles have ended a month with exactly an NHL .500 record. The Rangers were 6-5-3 in March.
10. The teams split the season series, with each team winning three times. One of the Isles' wins was in overtime, giving the Rangers seven points to the Isles' six. The Rangers stay two points behind Atlanta and four points behind the Bruins. They are also four points behind Philadelphia and Montreal. The Isles drop to 10 points behind Philadelphia, Montreal, and Boston, who all have 82 points, with only six games to play. The Isles could be eliminated from playoff competition as early as Thursday.
Up next: The Flyers look to seek the Islanders for the second straight season as they visit the Coliseum on Thursday. The Isles have not managed even a loser point against Philadelphia this season, and have lost 15 straight to the Flyers overall. The Isles' last victory over the Flyers was on February 12, 2009.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
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