"I think the team competed hard in the first period," said Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant. "Then we started standing around and watching the team play in the second and that was the difference. Then in the third, we played well again. For a young lineup against a very good team, I was pretty happy with the performance overall."
NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess the Isles cannot win every preseason game against the Rangers, seems like it's been a long time since they lost any game at Msg without getting a point much less falling behind 4-1.
Rangers had their entire starting lineup except for Jagr and Avery. Islanders dressed Hunter, Fedtenko and Sim. Witt, Martinek and Berard did not dress and even Ted Nolan was not at the game because his brother died.
Still the Islanders played two even periods where for the most part they outworked the Ranger starters in the trenches after a slow first few minutes and led into the second period after a nice speed bust by Bergenheim and perfect backhand gave the Isles the lead at the end of the first.
The Isles did score a second period goal and just missed taking a 2-0 lead but the goal was called off for goalie interference. Some bounces ate up the AHL veterans on defense for one Ranger goal, MacDonald and Morrison who came in cold struggled on a few second period shots. MacDonald was good in the first and had to be early. Other chances Isles just did not finish or over passed with a lot of kids up front. Bergeron got off a few quality shots.
A few poor penalties away from the puck cost the Isles in the second. Only big mistakes I saw on defense from the vets were from Bergeron who lost a puck to Orr and Campoli who lost a puck behind his goal. Aside from that Isles did get in the passing lanes well and forced chances outside even if shots against may not reflect this.
What was close to a slew foot by a Ranger on Aaron Johnson led to a fight, Isles did good in the fight department with about four fights but overall the game had none of the intensity that was seen Monday and the officials were on their game tonight unlike Monday.
After one goal by Shanahan one of the AHL veterans for the Isles and Shanahan were smiling. At the end Ranger goon Orr and an Islander were smiling as they decided not to fight but held on for a long time.
Comeau, Bergenheim looked good. Hunter and Fedotenko looked very good on a late goal but mostly were invisible. Walter had the early second period shot that did everything but cross the line.
40-22 shots were as misleading as the final score because the Rangers struggled for a good part of the game and were outworked by a lot of prospects and AHL veterans.
Isles pulled the goalie and the Rangers hit the open net for the 5-2 final.
35 Joey MacDonald
33 Mike Morrison
2 Aaron Johnson - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
8 Bruno Gervais - 14 Chris Campoli
6 Matthew Spiller - 49 Drew Fata
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 29 Ben Walter - 7 Trent Hunter
16 Jon Sim - 51 Frans Nielsen - 28 Tim Jackman
20 Sean Bergenheim - 10 Richard Park - 54 Gordie Dwyer
27 Darryl Bootland - 57 Blake Comeau - 37 Kip Brennan
Condolences to Ted Nolan and his family. Gerant Gallant ran the bench tonight.
Steve Zipay's Ranger centric article is posted in Newsday.