Rangers beat the Islanders

October 27, 2008 7:12:04 PM PDT
Rangers captain Chris Drury scored his first two goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Islanders on Monday night in the opening New York-New York matchup of the season. Drury, who has bounced around between various linemates in coach Tom Renney's quest to find a trio that clicks, scored from in front 56 seconds in against backup goalie Joey MacDonald.

He added a power-play tally during a long two-man advantage with 7:26 remaining to make it 4-1. Ryan Callahan and Scott Gomez both netted their third goals of the season for the Rangers, who have won three straight and nine of their first 12 (9-2-1).

Kyle Okposo tied it at 1 in the final seconds of the first period, and Mark Streit added a short-handed goal with 1:56 left in the game for the Islanders, who dropped their fourth straight (2-6). The Rangers have the most points in the NHL, while the Islanders have the fewest.

The Islanders didn't come close to matching the offense of Saturday's 4-3 home loss when they recorded a team-record 60 shots.

And missing injured top goalie Rick DiPietro didn't help.

MacDonald started for the first time since Oct. 16, and was backed up by someone other than DiPietro for the first time this season. Yann Danis got the call from Bridgeport of the AHL.

DiPietro had surgery to fix a knee and a hip during the offseason and didn't play the first four games. While he wasn't ready for action then, he dressed for all the games. His latest injury is undisclosed and he is day to day.

DiPietro made his first on-ice appearance Oct. 18 at Florida and started three consecutive games. He lasted only one period Saturday against Carolina, allowing two goals on 12 shots. One of the goals came directly after he turned over the puck with an ill-advised clearing attempt.

The Islanders announced he was pulled because of an injury and not based on his performance. DiPietro was examined by a doctor on Monday, but no details were provided.

Callahan restored the Rangers' lead late in the second period when he beat Trent Hunter to a loose puck in the slot, and with a spinning motion whipped a shot past MacDonald at 16:16.

In the first, after MacDonald made a crisp left pad stop on a shot by Nikolai Zherdev, the puck came back out to Drury, who scored his first of the night.

The Rangers killed off a pair of penalties on Brandon Dubinsky in the first, but couldn't keep the lead through the period.

Okposo, who had a golden scoring chance in front earlier in the period off a blatant giveaway by Zherdev, made up for the miss. The rookie took a pass in the slot from Richard Park and wired a drive past Lundqvist for his first this season and third in 17 NHL games.

The large chunk of Rangers fans drowned out chants of "Jo-ey, Jo-ey" in the second period with cheers of "Let's Go Rangers." With 2 minutes remaining, they taunted Islanders fans with refrains of "You Can't Beat Us."

Notes: The Islanders announced that D Brendan Witt would miss three to four weeks with an undisclosed injury. Fellow D Freddy Meyer also sat out. He is day to day due to an abdominal strain. ... Rangers D Michal Rozsival had two assists. ... MacDonald made 35 saves.