The New York Rangers defeated the New York Islanders 4-1 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers played a strong game getting two goals from rookie J.T. Miller, they were his first two NHL goals. Marion Gaborik and Ryan McDonagh scored the other goals, one was an empty net. The Rangers played good defense and Henrik Lundqvist played one of his better games.
The first goal by Miller was at the 1:29 mark of the first period. It was only the third time this season in ten games that the Rangers had a lead. He was assisted by Chris Kreider and Marc Staal. Gaborik scored to make it 2-0 at the 14:04 mark of the first period. Staal and Brad Richards assisted on the Gaborik goal.
The Islanders cut the lead to 2-1 at the 11:13 mark of the second period on a John Tavares goal. Moulson and Finley assisted on the goal. The Rangers made it 3-1 at the 18:11 mark of the second period on Millers second goal. McDonagh assisted. McDonagh scored the final goal on an empty net goal. It was at the 17:52 mark of the third period.
The Rangers scored a power play goal and were 5-5 on the penalty kill. They still are taking too many penalties and one more too many men on the ice. It was their fifth such penalty of the season which is unacceptable. If the special teams get better like they were tonight they will get better as a team. The Rangers having more balance on offense also helps. Miller may be here for a while and he may only be here for a short time. We will have to see what they do with him. Lundqvist was 19-20 in saves and Nabokov was 18-20 for the Islanders.
The Rangers moved ahead of the Islanders into eighth place in the conference with 10 points. The Islanders after starting hot have struggled lately. The Rangers are back to 500 and will look to build on that in their next game on Sunday night. They play the Tampa Bay Lightning and then they play the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night in Boston.