Game Summary                               NYI: J. Halak   NYR: O. Pavelec (L) H. Lundqvist (ND)  Event Summary

  • TOP TEN – The Rangers have five players who have recorded 10 or more goals thus far this season (Grabner, Zibanejad, Buchnevich, Kreider, Hayes).
  • KILL ZONE – New York was 2-for-2 (4:00) on the penalty kill in today’s contest. The Rangers have not allowed a powerplay goal in 11 of the last 16 games (45-for-50; 90.0%) and in 12 of the last 18 games (49-for-55; 89.1%). The Blueshirts have killed off 85 of their opponents’ last 97 power play opportunities (87.6%). The Rangers have not allowed more than one powerplay goal in 42 of 43 games this season, including each of the last 41 contests.
  • STAYING DISCIPLINED – The Blueshirts have only been shorthanded six times over the last four games and have not been shorthanded more than two times in any game over the span.
  • POWER RANGERS – The Rangers were 1-for-3 (4:54) on the power play in today’s game. The Blueshirts have tallied a power play goal in three of the last five contests (3-for-15; 20.0% over the span).
  • SHOOTING GALLERY – New York recorded 39 shots on goal in today’s game, as 16 of 18 skaters registered at least one shot on goal. The Blueshirts have registered 30 or more shots on goal in five of the last eight games, in six of the last 10 contests, and in 24 of 43 games in 2017-18.
  • HOT AT THE DOT – The Blueshirts won 34 of 64 faceoffs in today’s contest (53.1%). The Rangers have posted a faceoff win percentage of 50.0% or better in 11 of the last 14 games.

  • Kevin Hayes tallied a power-play goal, led all skaters (and established a single-game career-high) with seven shots on goal, and was credited with two blocked shots. Hayes has registered six points (four goals, two assists) in the last 12 games and 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in the last 26 games. He ranks fifth on the Rangers in goals this season (10).
  • Mika Zibanejad registered a goal, won 14 of 20 faceoffs (70.0%), and recorded three shots on goal. He has tallied a goal/point in each of the last two games (two goals) and in three of the last four contests (three goals). Zibanejad ranks second on the Rangers in goals this season (14).
  • Mats Zuccarello tallied his 200th career NHL assist and was credited with three hits. Zuccarello leads the Rangers in assists (24), points (32), and primary assists (15) in 2017-18. He has tallied a point in 15 of his last 22 games, registering 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) over the span.
  • Rick Nash recorded a power play assist and registered five shots on goal. He has tallied 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in the last 32 games. Since he joined the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash has recorded 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 22 games against the Islanders.
  • Ryan McDonagh tallied an assist and was credited with three blocked shots while skating in a game-high 24:39 of ice time. He leads Rangers defensemen in assists this season (19).
  • Henrik Lundqvist made 16 saves after entering the game in relief during the second period. He made his 778th career NHL appearance in today’s game, passing Tom Barrasso for sole possession of 19th place on the league’s all-time appearances list.

  • Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers head coach

On today’s game…

“We had a huge game in front of us, a divisional game, one of our top rivals and to make the type of mistakes that we made today, you don’t give yourself a chance to win.  Goal one, three, and four, we had numbers there and we just didn’t check.  Goal two, we take a shot from the point that doesn’t get through and our defenseman jumps in and gives them a 3-on-0.  Barzal’s [Mathew Barzal] line just dominated Mika’s [Mika Zibanejad] line the whole game.  I had three of my top players there, and they were dominated the whole game.  It was definitely not a good game for us.  Give the Islanders a lot of credit.  They got some good looks and cashed in.”

On his confidence in the roster…

“I think in the past a lot of players have proven that they’ve been able to do it but I’m more in it for what you are doing for me right now.  As a group, we need to step up and we need to step up with a much better game on the ice.”

On how to move on from a game like this…

“We’re playing tomorrow so we’re going to address a few things tomorrow morning and we’re going to have to come up with a much better game.”

On Casey Cizikas’s injury…

“It’s getting worse. That’s all I can tell you. It’s upper body and it’s not great. You always find out. You’ve got to get some good looks at it, but he won’t be playing the next little while at least. We’ll hope for good news come Monday when he can go get a real good look at it, but he won’t be on the trip. We talk about good opportunity, and it is, and we’re going to have to find a way. Six or seven really big names and key pieces of our team, but that’s why you have depth, and we’ve talked about that throughout the year. I was really impressed with the lineup right through from Shane [Prince]. Brock [Nelson] has played his best two weeks, 10 days of hockey since last year and it’s been visible to me not so much on the sheet, but just in the way, he’s playing the game. I could trust them today; I thought Michael [Dal Colle] was excellent—very stable and good, moved well and thought he played a really good game and had a big hand in this win. So if we can keep challenging these guys and keep our hands on their throats and keep them going the right way, that was an excellent win.”

On starting strong…

“The stat that you see thrown up there a lot—I think we’re 14-1 when we score the first goal so when we’re four games above .500, I think that would mean that we don’t do that well when we don’t. That’s something that we want to be better at because you’re going to have breaks against you, but it was big. Even though they tied it, I felt like we were in a good spot. We played a really good first period, and the guys felt some really good confidence from that goal. It’s definitely big for our team, and we want to keep doing it.”

  • Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers defenseman

On what stands out as the worst part of the team’s play today…

“Not being smart, way too many odd-man looks – that’s kind of a byproduct. I think the main thing is we want a group in here that’s willing to do whatever it takes to win.  Right now, we don’t have enough guys going like that.  The only thing you can do is watch your game here and come back ready to play hard for your teammates.  We had a good meeting yesterday coming out of the bye week and I did not foresee this happening like this.  You obviously have got to give them credit – they made a lot of plays and were stronger on the puck and played a high percentage game.  We didn’t give ourselves much of a chance at all.”

On whether there is an explanation for the team’s play today…

“I think our group understands what it takes and it’s about the mentality of getting yourself there every night.  We’ve had guys at times playing the way we need to play, but for us to be successful we need everybody buying in.  Right now we don’t want it.  Fortunately, we get an opportunity.  If we do the same thing tomorrow it’s going to be the same result.  I hope our guys understand the importance of tomorrow.  It’s a huge game for us and I hope we come ready.”

  • Rick Nash, New York Rangers forward 

On what the leadership group needs to stress…

“I think you have to trust that you have to put trust in your game plan and trust in your system. If we play our system right, they don’t get all those odd-man rushes tonight. I think the leaders have to lead and everyone has to follow. This league is too good to have five or six guys going a night. You need to have all 22 guys.”

On if he felt there wasn’t enough trust in the system today…

“I think we have a game plan every single night. And today it was we can’t play into their speed, we can’t turn the puck over, and we can’t give up odd-man rushes. That’s on the players. I don’t know whether it’s mental or just not doing the right job. We have to figure it out in here as players.”

On moving forward from today’s game…

“I think we are all going to watch our shifts and figure out exactly where we could have been better on all those odd-man rushes. The beautiful thing about a back-to-back is it’s a huge game for us tomorrow and we can put forth a good effort and turn the page on this one.”

On what he saw through the first part of the game and his words of encouragement for the team…

“I felt like we needed to take a deep breath and try to refocus a little bit.  We were jumping into plays we were not supposed to.  Most of the goals were odd-man rushes -we stepped up, they used the boards, and they were coming at us.  It was a day where they took advantage of us not playing a really good game.  It was tough to watch, it was a tough game to play, and we just have to regroup here fast.”

On how surprised he was by the team’s play today following the bye week…

“I was surprised.  Mostly I am just disappointed.  It was a big game, playing a team that’s right there.  Points mean a lot right now.  We have to regroup here because it’s another big one tomorrow.  I think the biggest thing right now is not trying to find an answer to everything. You just have to go to yourself right now, try to play your best game to try to help the group, and not figure out everything and what we need to improve.  Just go to yourself.  I’ll start with myself, and hopefully, that’ll be enough tomorrow.” 

  • Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders forward 

On his five-point game…

“It was a great team effort honestly.  Beau [Anthony Beauvillier] comes in, works hard, wins all his battles, and Ebs [Jordan Eberle] you know, making skill plays.  A little water bug up there so, just one of those nights where everything kind of finds its way into the back of the net.”

On his backhand goal…

“I was trying to actually hit Beau [Anthony Beauvillier] coming late for a 2-on-1 but the lane kind of closed up.  Just took to my backhand there and honestly, tried going across the net.  You can’t really just pick those spots and it was lucky to find its way in.”

  • Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders goaltender 

On making saves …

“It’s always nice when a team can score in front of you. That second period was a big period for us. It seemed like everything was going in. Those are the worst games for goalies, ecause the team is usually starting to relax and the other team gets some chances. I think for the most part we did a good job. In the third period, we got in penalty trouble a little bit, but I think the third period was probably our best if you don’t really look at the penalty killing.” 

On Anthony Beauvillier’s play tonight …

“He didn’t have a break – he played games. So, he was into it and he was good tonight. But we need everybody – everybody in this room right now to play their role and raise their game. Some of the guys are out of the lineup and now these guys have to step up, and that’s what we need.”

  • Morning Skate/Availability Schedule: The Rangers will not have a morning skate prior to tomorrow’s contest. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media at 5:30 p.m.
  • Next Game: Tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 14 at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN)

*Schedule subject to change

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