The Rangers willed themselves to a 4-3 overtime win over the Islanders tonight. Trailing three times, on the receiving end of some questionable refereeing and unlucky breaks that resulted in Islanders goals, this team refused to give in and got the three points their play deserved. The better team won tonight. To the game points:
The Islanders and Rangers sleep walked through the first half of the first period. The Rangers played conservatively, perhaps timidly (given their recent slump, not a surprise) and the Islanders were more than happy to go along with that start. The slow start meant zero offensive zone pressure from either team and almost no shots to speak of.
Brian Boyle laid on a big, clean hit early in the first. If he used his body as effectively as he did with that hit – more often – he’d be a scary hockey player.
Another unnecessary Bickel duel. That aside, Bickel was solid tonight.
Whenever the Rangers raised the ante in the last few minutes of the first,...