This was a complete game for the Rangers. Their forwards played well, their defense played well, their goaltending was great, and it was a full 60 minute effort. They weren’t perfect, but their mistakes did not cost them goals. They capitalized on the chances the Islanders gave them, and created their own chances by attacking the open ice. The best part about a clean game is that the goals are easy to break down. On to those goals:
Rangers 1, Islanders 0
How about this one? J.T. Miller’s first NHL goal comes off a turnover from Mark Streit. The turnover was forced by Chris Kreider, another first round pick of the Rangers. Miller simply picks up the puck and takes it down the seam. A little miscarry with the puck doesn’t stop Miller, but it draws Evgeni Nabokov out of position just enough. Miller with a perfect shot over Nabokov’s shoulder, and he’s the happiest underage kid in the world.
Rangers 2, Islanders 0
This was all about the sustained attack. The Rangers worked along the boards (Taylor Pyatt), had great puck movement, had great screens (Pyatt), and had some good shots on net. In the end, both Mark Streit and Brian Strait forgot to locate Marian Gaborik and focused on Pyatt instead. Gaborik buried the rebound as Pyatt distracted Streit, Strait, and Nabokov. Brilliant shift.
Rangers 2, Islanders 1
Sometimes hockey just happens. The Rangers had a very long shift, and their three forwards (Pyatt, Richards, Gaborik) got caught deep, leading to a 3-on-2 rush for the Isles. John Tavares is pretty good at hockey, and he used Anton Stralman as a screen and rips one past Lundqvist. There is no real fault here, hockey happens sometimes.
Rangers 3, Islanders 1
After Miller almost gifts the Islanders a tie game, he redeems himself with a breakaway goal. There’s not much to breakdown here, Miller cycled with Ryan McDonagh behind the net holding the puck. Miller used his speed and vision to find the open seam and get behind the Islanders 1-2-2 forecheck. Once McDonagh hit him with the perfect pass, it was just a matter of Miller putting it through Nabokov.
Rangers 4, Islanders 1
Islanders turnover, empty net goal for McDonagh. No real breakdown here.