Rangers v. Islanders right now on MSG

End of the game – Avery added an empty net goal to make it 4-1 Rangers. Solid defensive game, Lundqvist came up big when he had to and the offense chipped in. The Rangers haven’t lost in regulation in 11 straight now. Lundqvist also got his 30th win of the season. Congrats. Enjoy the rest of the night.

9:12 – Witt just went to the bench shaken up. He’s had a barking right knee, so it could be something with that. This might be some kind of record, but in the two games this week, the Rangers and Islanders have fought each other zero times. I guess they needed DiPietro out there to start one of those. Al Montoya is down in the desert now, so maybe all will be calm.

9:05 – Another great shift by the top line for the Rangers. Avery, Jagr and Dubinsky all had chances. Blair Betts before that had a solid shift with a few hits. The Rangers have shutdown the Isle’s offense so far this period as well, as they only have one shot on net.

8:50 – Much better start to the third for the Rangers. Marc Staal threw the puck at the net on the powerplay, Gomez deflected and it went in past Dubie. (I’m real tired of his name) It was all set up by Dawes’ hussle. Dubie just robbed Jagr while Avery and Brendan Witt exchange words again. 3-1 Rangers.

8:31 – Wow. What a bad period by the Rangers. The Islanders came out with much more life. The best part of the Rangers’ game was the penalty kill. They were outshot 13-3 in the period and rarely had offensive pressure. They will begin the third period on the power play off of a hard work play by Freddie Sjorstrum. He has otherwise been a little shaky this game. Dawes was robbed at the buzzer, as was Gomez. Need a better third period.

8:16 – Sean Berghenheim just managed to have a shot deflect off of Malik and Roszival and then past Lundqvist. 2-1 Rangers. Why don’t the Rangers ever score those kind of goals. Big save by Lundqvist. All this after a beautiful penalty kill. Islanders are the better team this period.

8:09 – Malik’s defense partner put the puck into the crowd in the defensive zone and took a delay of game penalty. Two man advantage for the Fishsticks for 51 seconds. Good penalty kill thus far for the Rangers.

8:05 – The pace didn’t slow from period one to period two. A couple of opportunities for both teams leads to a holding penalty on the Blueshirts. Malik was the culprit.

7:39 – Jagr just rang one off the post. Then, a solid play by Malik (who?) led to a hooking penalty on the Islanders. One the powerplay, Dawes had a great opportunity and Chris Drury put one into the sprawling Dubielewicz. Anyone else wanna jump off the “I hate Marek Malik bandwagon with me?” He’s starting to win me over again. 2-0 going into the break.

7:28 – Pretty goal just scored by Avery. Brandon Dubinsky dug the puck out along the boards, dropped it to Marek Malik, who fed Avery and Avery had a pretty deflection past Dubieleweicz. 2-0 Rangers.

7:22 – If you aren’t watching this game, you are missing out. A strong shift by the Rangers’ top line was countered by an even stronger shift by the Islanders’ top line. Henrik Lundqvist had to make some good saves. Then Jaromir Jagr set up Sean Avery, who hit the post with the net wide open. Shanahan just took one of those weak hooking or slashing penalties. A tap on the stick and he gets called.

The Rangers and Islanders have started the second of the home and home this week, and already the Rangers are off to a 1-0 lead. Nigel Dawes fed Brendan Shanahan on a delayed penalty and Shanny went on a breakaway on Wade Dubieleweicz. The pace is a little faster than Tuesday’s game, but it isn’t very physical, yet. I’ll be here updating as we go along.

Same lineups as Tuesday for both teams. Rick DiPietro is back with the team, but not in net. Petr Prucha, Ryan Hollweg and Jason Strudwick are the healthy scratches.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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