Whether the air’s been unpredictable or climate controlled, the New York Rangers had the edge on the New York Islanders this week.
After slipping by them 2-1 in a Stadium Series game on Wednesday, the Rangers pulled away in the third period to top the Isles 4-1 on Friday. The Rangers now have three straight wins while the Islanders have lost five in a row.
Henrik Lundqvist has played a big part in his team’s wins against the Isles this week. He stopped 38 out of 39 shots tonight after making 30 out of 31 saves on Wednesday. Rick Nash has been pretty dominant in his own right with 12 shots on goal in the past two contests, yet he hasn’t gotten on the board.
The John Tavares line can relate, as they generated another 10+ SOG night but didn’t really get the results they wanted; they failed to score on Wednesday and only Kyle Okposo found the net on Friday.
The Islanders need all the points they can get, so losing these past two games – and thus, their season series against the Rangers – could hurt in the long and short run.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: