Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!
 

Islanders hold on to beat Rangers for fifth straight win

April 10, 2024, 6:48 PM ET [225 Comments]
Ben Shelley
New York Islanders Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT




The New York Islanders managed to hang on for a key 4-2 home win over the New York Rangers last night, extending their win streak to five games and continuing to improve their playoff position.



Only 1:25 into the game, Mathew Barzal had a great chance to put the Islanders up early after being awarded a penalty shot, but he was stopped on a big pad save by Igor Shesterkin. The Islanders kept coming though and just minutes later, Mike Reilly just threw the puck on net, and it went off a stick and in, opening the scoring only about four minutes in.


Then after the Rangers couldn't capitalize on their best chance of the period – a rush opportunity for Artemi Panarin – Noah Dobson's shot was tipped in by Bo Horvat midway through the frame, making it a 2-0 game. The Islanders weren’t done there, and only minutes later, after Brock Nelson had a near-miss off a great pass from Noah Dobson, Nelson put the puck back to the front of the net, and it was tapped in by Kyle Palmieri, extending the lead to three goals.


The Islanders even had a power play from there where they had a few more good chances, and while they couldn’t capitalize, it was an excellent opening frame, with the Islanders carrying all the momentum after throwing 17 shots on goal, taking a 3-0 lead to intermission.

However, the Rangers ended up with their first powerplay of the game in the front half of the second frame and were able to get on the board, with Chris Kreider tipping in a point shot. The Islanders then got into more penalty trouble from there, and while they managed to kill off the Rangers’ second power play of the game, just after it ended, Noah Dobson flipped the puck over the glass, putting the Islanders right back on the penalty kill. On the ensuing power play, Adam Fox wristed a shot through traffic to beat Varlamov from there, making it a 3-2 game.

By the end of the second period, the Islanders had lost pretty much all momentum, and were just clinging to the lead.

Then in the final frame, it was basically all about protecting the lead, with the Ranges getting all the offensive zone time (though the Islanders did a fairly good job preventing really high-danger chances). The Islanders did have a power play later in the frame with an opportunity to take back a bit of control, but couldn’t pad the lead, with the Rangers going right back to pressing for the tie afterwards.

The Islanders were completely under siege for the final few minutes after the Rangers pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, but they were able to get into lanes and block shots to prevent a lot of opportunities. Eventually Anders Lee was able to bury an empty netter in the dying seconds, securing a 4-2 win for the Islanders.


It’s a second straight win against a team in playoff position, with the Islanders now starting to pull away from the rest of the pack for one of the remaining playoff spots in the East.

The first period was about as dominant as the Islanders have looked at any point this season. They had all the momentum, spending the majority of the opening frame in the Rangers’ end and completely outchancing them. Even after going up 3-0, they had a couple other chances to build to the lead before the end of that opening frame.

Things did take a turn afterwards, and realistically, the Islanders were on their heels for much of the back 40 minutes. Of course, a lot of that had to do with three penalties in the second period, where the Islanders allowed two goals, really letting the Rangers back into the game. Despite the penalty kill faltering again though, the early lead was big enough to make the difference.

Semyon Varlamov once again put together a great performance, stopping 32 shots in the win. I think the Islanders did a fairly good job limiting quality chances despite the volume of shots and time spent in their own end, but Varlamov still had to be sharp, and has been rock solid as of late.

With two assists in the first period, Noah Dobson also reached 60 assists this season, becoming only the fifth defenseman to reach that mark this season. Another defender deserving of some praise though is Mike Reilly, who opened the scoring and had a couple nice plays in the first period to drive offense. Reilly continues to be a really solid addition to a defense group that doesn’t generate much offensively (outside of Dobson), and hopefully, Reilly is extended.

With the fifth straight win, the Islanders are now on the verge of securing a spot in the postseason. The Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings both lost in regulation last night (though Washington did pick up points against Detroit), so here’s how the standings look:

- 87 points, 4 games remaining: New York Islanders
- 85 points, 4 games remaining: Washington Capitals
- 84 points, 4 games remaining: Pittsburgh Penguins
- 84 points, 4 games remaining: Detroit Red Wings
- 83 points, 3 games remaining: Philadelphia Flyers

As a result of the Flyers’ recent struggles, they’re all but out of the race at this point. But even amongst the four other teams fighting for the two spots, New York remains in by far the best position, and three wins in their final four games will guarantee a playoff spot.

The Islanders can keep inching their way closer to clinching a postseason appearance on Thursday, when they host the Montreal Canadiens.


SuperSurvey.com

OTHER ARTICLES FROM APRIL

- Islanders must bounce back for biggest game of season vs. Flyers
- Islanders stay alive after sweeping back-to-back set
- Islanders' playoff chances continue to improve with win over Blue Jackets
- Islanders shut out Predators, control their own playoff destiny
Join the Discussion: » 225 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Ben Shelley
» Islanders complete draft pick swap with Blackhawks, add second-round pick
» What can the Islanders expect from Maxim Tsyplakov?
» Islanders sign Maxim Tsyplakov
» Lack of cap space could result in another quiet offseason for Islanders
» Season Recap: Islanders in a state of stagnation