New York Islanders spank Rangers in Long Island beatdown at MSG (Highlights)

Mathew Barzal’s five-points and Anthony Beauvillier’s two-goals helped the New York Islanders deliver a Long Island beat-down on the rival Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

It was a matinee to remember at the Garden, just not for the home team.

The New York Islanders started off on a much better foot coming into the second half of the season, potting a higher-than-normal seven goals and allowing just two goals against for the third time this season, a stat that is so important in conjunction with Jaroslav Halak‘s 37 saves for a .948 save percentage.

After the fourth goal, the Rangers seemed to shut down. It was a good back-and-forth game, even after Mathew Barzal opened the second period with his first goal of the game. But once the killer went in and Henrik Lundqvist entered in relief of Ondrej Pavelec, it was all downhill for the Blueshirts on home ice (minus Zibanejad’s 14th of the season).

 CHECK OUT the New York Islanders Team Center: News, Stats, Standings 

Home away from Home

The Islanders improve 10-2 at MSG dating back to their last 12 games at the Garden.

It was all Islanders from the get-go as the Blue and Orange decided a change of pace was in order and scored the first goal of the game. Anthony Beauvillier buried a gorgeous set-up from Barzal and Jordan Eberle.

Shane Prince may have been delayed to practice due to flight troubles, but he sticks this shot straight behind Pavelec to compensate for Hayes’ tying goal.

Barzal had his head up all the way to start the second period, taking advantage of some blown Rangers coverage in the opening minute and netting the first of his pair tonight.

Less than four minutes after that, Barzy wanted another one. Beauvi went back and forth with Mat for an assist on his goal after coming back from his second assignment to Bridgeport.

These two are probably going to see ice time together, as it’s unlikely Beauvillier sees the AHL again soon.

Beauvillier wanted in on the action too, and got his second of the game off of what he described as a “other-worldly pass.”

Ondrej Pavelec’s night was decidedly over, and Lundqvist needed to give the bench a pep-talk as he got onto the ice.

Thomas Hickey and Cal Clutterbuck padded the Isles lead and a dominant, wholesome win was in the books.

Party on the Island

I believe I speak for nearly everyone—allegiances aside—in saying: nobody was expecting that.

The Islanders did everything close to picture perfect, from establishing an aggressive forecheck from the get-go and getting the early goal to keeping the pressure on the Rangers the entire time and have them playing from behind.

 CHECK OUT the New York Rangers Team Center: News, Stats, Standings 

The break treated the Isles exactly as it was supposed to, giving them a refreshed, new outlook on the remainder of the season. Starting off on the note of strong goaltending and defense was perfect, both categories delivered in droves.

Don’t let the score fool you—the Rangers had their chances to claw back into this game and Halak’s 37 saves were a monumental difference. The growing consistency in his game was overshadowed over their last couple of games, but took center stage tonight in some key moments.

The offense returned in an explosive display of talent, too.

Beauvillier’s assignment to Bridgeport seems to have been the kick he needed to get his game going. Confidence oozed out of the second line and the effect was contagious on the Islanders bench.

Barzal overtook the rookie scoring lead with his five-point night — which by the way, is his second in his 43-game career.

On the injury front, there seems to be no immediate concerns with Josh Bailey, who sat out injured along with Andrew Ladd.

Beauvillier and Dal Colle are still up on an emergency basis, so the Islanders will have some time to decide whether or not to send them (Dal Colle, likely) back to Bridgeport.

The Islanders continue their dominance over the Rangers, now 12-3 dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.

The unfortunate part for the Rangers is that they have to travel to Pittsburgh to face the resurging Penguins, who have won four of five.

The Islanders are off tomorrow and will depart for Montreal to play the Canadiens on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET when their roster is likely to include Bailey and Ladd.

 NEXT: New York Rangers-Islanders rivalry: 6 memorable all-time moments 


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