1. Lundqvist was the story for most of the first two periods. The Islanders had ten shots before the Rangers had one, yet the Rangers got goals from Callahan and from Chris Drury to take a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Drury's goal was the Rangers' first in a 5-on-5 situation in 250:46 and his first goal in 20 games.
2. The teams traded goals in the middle period as Callahan's second goal, in the opening minute of the period, was matched by Andrew MacDonald's first career goal just before the midway point. MacDonald's goal came in a 4-on-4; the Isles have outscored opponents 7-3 in such situations this season. However, that was as close as the Isles would get.
3. Marian Gaborik scored on a 5-on-3 early in the third period and Artem Anisimov tacked on his first goal in eleven games to make it 5-1, before Frans Nielsen scored with 4:46 to play for the final margin.
...a few more...
4. Lundqvist improved to 15-8-4 against the Isles as he won his 155th career game. Callahan finished with two goals and two assists. It's the first time in his career he's had three points in a game, let alone four. Gaborik, who extended his league lead in goals (24) and power play goals (12), finished with three points for his 14th multi-point game of the season.
5. The five goals scored by the Rangers equaled their total over the last three games. It's the first time that the Rangers have scored five goals since tallying seven on November 23rd against Columbus. It's also the first time that they've scored five goals on the road this season.
6. John Tavares had a frustrating night, although he did have four shots on goal. Tavares had three shots blocked by Rangers, and missed the net three other time. He also lost 9-of-13 face-offs and was charged with three giveaways.
7. The Isles suffered their second straight home loss; they've been outscored 12-3 in those two games. Dwayne Roloson made 17 saves, as the Isles fell to 2-5-0 in their last seven. They've been outscored 28-12 in those seven games.
8. Kyle Okposo led the Isles with six shots, but was held off the board for the fifteenth straight game. Nate Thompson had the game's most embarrassing moment , when he missed a wide open net with Lundqvist out by the outside edge of the face-off circle.
9. Special teams were a big part of the story. The Rangers went 3-6 with the extra man, while the Isles had 14 pp shots, but failed to score in seven power play attempts. The Isles have allowed 11 power play goals in their last 26 times short , covering seven games while the Isles power play is 1-13 over the last four contests.
10. The teams split the home-and-home, leaving the Isles with a 2-games-to-1 lead in the season series, which continues on Boxing Day (December 26th) at Madison Square Garden. The loss deprived the Islanders of a 101st victory all-time against the Rangers; they had won #100 on Wednesday. This was the 23rd time that the Isles had played consecutive games against the Rangers; they've swept only twice.
Up next: Game two of the four-game homestand is Satuday as the Isles host the struggling Canadiens. Montreal has lost five straight but they have beaten the Isles twice this season (once in overtime) and are 9-0-2 against the Isles in their last 11 meetings, including four straight Coliseum wins; the Isles beat the Habs twice in Montreal last season -- once in overtime and once in a shooutout.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
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