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The Islanders got a solid all-around effort, as they defeated the Rangers 2-1 at the Garden on Wednesday night. On to the trick:
1. Jon Sim got the only goal of the first 56 minutes when he converted a pass from Jack Hillen midway through the first period to give the Isles the lead. It was Sim's first goal in twelve games.
2. Blake Comeau notched an insurance goal with 3:10 to play when he scored on a rebound off a Matt Moulson slap shot. It was Comeau's first goal since Nov. 7, and ended a seven-game goalless streak.
3. Comeau's insurance would be cashed in, during the final minute of play. Enver Lisin scored with the extra attacker on with 55 seconds to play to bring the Rangers within one—but they couldn't get the equalizer. It was Lisin's first goal since Oct. 25.
It will go into the books as an even-strength goal—amazingly the first the Rangers have scored in their last 231:55. The Rangers still have not been shutout this season, but were held to one goal for the eighth time.
...a few more...
4. It was a strong night for the Islander defense. The Isles blocked 28 shots in the game. Jack Hillen and Andy Sutton led the way, each blocking five shots.
5. Marian Gaborik played 26:51, and had six shots on goal. However, he had four shots blocked and missed the net four other times. Eight Rangers played at least 21:57, while only two Islanders (Mark Streit and Jack Hillen) played that long. Every Islander played at least 11:20. Six Rangers however, played fewer than 9:17.
It will be interesting to see if this affects the Rangers when both teams play their third games in four nights on Thursday. Josh Bailey played more than 14 minutes for the Isles and recorded three shots on goal, ending a seven-game streak in which he was held without a single shot.
6. Dwayne Roloson recorded 25 saves, as he beat the Rangers for the second time this season. Henrik Lundqvist had 25 saves for the Rangers. Roloson came within 55 seconds of becoming only the second goaltender in Islander history to shutout the Rangers at the Garden—Billy Smith did so on Dec. 17, 1975.
7. The Rangers were held to two goals or fewer for the seventh-straight game as they dropped to 1-6-2 in their last nine. The Rangers, who were 8-3-1 when they faced the Isles on October 28, are 6-13-2 in their last 21 games.
8. Neither team could get much going with special teams as each squad failed to tally on two power plays. That was somewhat of a relief for the Islanders' penalty-killing, which had been scored upon eight times in its previous 18 times short-handed.
9. The win was only the second for Scott Gordon in a division road game since he became the Islander coach, and it broke a 12-game losing streak in road divisional games. Both of Gordon's road wins in division games have come at Madison Square Garden, where he is now 2-2. To compare, under Gordon the Isles are 0-5-0 in New Jersey, 0-3-1 in Philadelphia, and 0-3-0 in Pittsburgh.
10. The Islanders lead the season series with the Rangers 2-0 (and four points to none). It's the first time since 2007 that the Isles have won consecutive games against the Rangers.
Up next: The Isles look to sweep a home-and-home from the Rangers for only the third time in their history when they entertain the Rangers at the Coliseum on Thursday. The Isles swept the home-and-home on Nov. 21/22, 1981 (4-3 and 7-2), and on Oct. 19/20, 2005 (3-2 in a shootout, and 5-4). The Isles will be looking for only their second winning streak of the season. They won four straight from late October to early November.
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