By Tina Kolokathis
The New York Rangers took the win 1-0 against the New York Islanders Saturday night in OT at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Hempstead, New York. It was the last time the two teams would face off during regulation, with the Rangers edging out the Islanders 3-1 in total wins for the season.
In what was arguably the biggest rivalry game between the two teams since 1993, the winning goal came from Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi who took the pass from center Derick Brassard—Girardi’s second goal of the season.
While the Blueshirts came out with the win, the Islanders still sit at 7th place in the Eastern Conference, right above the Rangers, who are one point behind. There is no doubt that Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was a big reason the Blueshirts took the W. The tender had 29 saves and got his first shutout of the season.
Lundqvist told the media, “It was an exciting game to play in. It was fun, a lot of fun. Like a playoff game for sure.”
The game took place in front of a sold-out arena, but Ranger coach John Tortorella said it definitely showed the desire for a playoff run from both team’s fans, not a rivalry. He said, “’We need a good old-fashioned playoff series. That’s when you create rivalries. Tonight’s game brings a different intensity because we are close together in points. I don’t buy the rivalry.”
The Rangers next play the Flyers on Tuesday in Philadelphia, and the Islanders take on the Florida Panthers at home that same day.