NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22:  The New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by Andrew Ladd #16 at 12:38 of the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2017 in New York City.  The Islanders defeated the Rangers 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Islanders Complete Comeback in 3-2 Win Over Rangers

NEW YORK — The Islanders needed a win in the worst way on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, and they got just that in the form of a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the New York Rangers. Andrew Ladd scored the game-winning goal with 7:22 left in the third and Thomas Greiss made 34 saves for the Islanders.

Ladd scored the game-winning goal with 7:22 left in the game with the Islanders on the power play. Anders Lee was able to grab the loose puck in front of the Rangers net and quickly move it to Ladd, who tapped it home to put the Islanders ahead 3-2.

While it wasn’t the prettiest performance from the Islanders, they pulled back within two points of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The spot is current occupied by the Boston Bruins, who had third in the Atlantic Division taken from them by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“The two points are crucial,” John Tavares said. I think we’re happy with the way we just kept fighting. We might not have had our best night, we just stuck with it, then found a way. I think that matters most.

“I think going forward we just know we have to be a lot better in some areas.”

What the Islanders’ captain is likely referring to was the team’s sloppy play with the puck and their poor discipline at certain times. Tavares alone took three of the Islanders five penalties.

However, the Islanders benefited from a strong outing by Thomas Greiss between the net. The Islanders’ starter made several spectacular saves throughout the night, including a stop on a Ryan McDonagh redirect at the end of the first period, stopping a Michael Grabner breakaway chance in the first, a pad save on a Jimmy Vesey wraparound attempt and a flurry of shots at the end of the game.

“Your goalie at this time of year has to be your best player,” Andrew Ladd said about Greiss’ performance. “We have the confidence in him that when there’s a breakdown he can come up with the big save and bail us out. That’s what you need sometimes.”

Still, Greiss couldn’t stop them all and it was Mats Zuccarello who scored the game’s opening goal. The Rangers forward swept the puck into the net on the power play off a centering pass from Mika Zibanejad at 2:46 of the second period. The Islanders were able to answer right back 54 seconds later off a goal from Anders Lee.

Anthony Beauvillier threw a backhander at Rangers goalie Antti Raanta and Lee was able to the puck right back in after Raanta made the pad save. The goal was Lee’s 27th of the season and the assist was the first of two for Beauvillier on Wednesday.

Anthony Beauvillier threw a backhander at Rangers goalie Antti Raanta and Lee was able to the puck right back in after Raanta made the pad save. The goal was Lee’s 27th of the season and the assist was the first of two for Beauvillier on Wednesday.

The game, however, would remain tied for only a brief period of time. Less than three minutes later Rick Nash showed off some of his skill to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Nash was able to get by Thomas Hickey and then got a shot off that trickled past Greiss.

It was a fluky goal by the Islanders that tied the game in the third period. Josh Ho-Sang tried to pass the puck to the front of the net, but it pinballed off Beauvillier and Nikolay Kulemin’s skate and into the net.

The game started a little slow, they were really playing positional, just getting it in,” Interim head coach Doug Weight said. “It looked like they played last night, playing smart. We fell asleep with them a little bit, but we worked and battled. We were persistent on turning the pucks over early, which, I don’t get, but we start doing that as the game goes on.

“We played with good pace, we played with big time effort. Tommy (Thomas Greiss) was great in net. We got some big goals. It was a huge win.”

Quantcast