Friday night at the Nassau Coliseum the Rangers were able to rally from a pair of two-goal deficits to earn an important point in the standings, but they were unable to secure a second point, falling to the Islanders in the overtime shootout, 4-3.
Matt Moulson beat Martin Biron with a forehand snap shot in the fourth round of the shootut for the eventual winning goal after the Isles' Frans Nielsen and the Rangers' Marian Gaborik both had scored in the first round. Isles netminder Evgeni Nabokov---now 7-0 in games decided in overtime and the shootout this season---made Moulson's goal stand up by denying John Mitchell's shot in the fourth round to drop the Blueshirts record to 1-2-1 in their last four games.
Nabokov finished with 33 saves, including 12 in the third period when the Rangers pressed hard for the victory. Biron stopped 24 of 26 shots through 65 minutes of play.
The two teams entered the third period tied 3-3 because the Rangers erased a 3-1 deficit on goals by Gaborik and Derek Stepan before the middle stanza was complete. PA Parenteau's second goal of the night had given the Islanders a two-goal lead at 8:11, but Gaborik tucked a backhander past Nabokov on a clean breakaway for his 28th goal at 11:49 to bring the Rangers back within one. And at 16:40 Stepan tied the score when his right-wing shot caromed off Nabokov and defenseman Travis Hamonic before crossing the goal line.
Stepan's goal came on the power play, and was the Blueshirts second power play tally of the game. After spotting the Isles a 2-0 lead in the first period---on goals by Moulson and Parenteau---Marc Staal beat Nabokov from the left circle for the Rangers' first power play goal at the 12:47 mark of the opening period. The Rangers had been held without a power play goal in their previous three games, missing on 12 straight man advanatges before connecting twice Friday night against the Islanders.
For the second straight start Biron had early troubles before settling down between the pipes for the Rangers. Friday night he surrendered two goals on the first four shots he faced, while in his previous start eight days prior against the Blackhawks Biron allowed three goals on the first four shots he faced.
Ruslan Fedotenko returned to the Rangers lineup after a six-game injury-related absence and reclaimed his spot alongside Mike Rupp and John Mitchell. Rookie Stu Bickel, who had been playing forward in Fedotenko's absence, slipped back to his normal defense position, with veteran Steve Eminger a healthy scratch. Bickel responded by earning the secondary assist on Gaborik's goal and by dropping Matt Martin in a first period fight.