In the three full seasons the Islanders have called Barclays Center home, the Rangers have yet to win a game at the Brooklyn arena.
On Thursday night, the Blueshirts fell to the Islanders 2-1 in a game where they controlled the puck more often than not.
Just 4:25 into the game — in the midst of a Rangers’ power-play — Kevin Hayes found the puck on his stick; courtesy of a fortuitous bounce off the backboards.
Hayes quickly put the puck in the Isles’ net; giving the Seventh Avenue Skaters the 1-0 lead.
Finally, the Rangers had an early lead.
Too bad they couldn’t capitalize. In fact, neither team really got out of first gear in the opening period. Between then Blueshirts and Islanders, there were only 16 total shots registered in the first period.
And while things didn’t exactly pick up in the second, a roughly two-and-a-half minute sequence saw the Rangers fall victim to the Isles’ quick strike ability.
Goals by Thomas Hickey and Anthony Beauvillier turned the Blueshirts’ 1-0 lead into a 2-1 deficit. And the Rangers never recovered.
And here’s the kicker, the Blueshirts held the Islanders to single-digit shots on goal in each period.
Yet the damage was done. And once the final horn sounded, so were the Rangers.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
ONE-TWO PUNCH: Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes each have 25 or more goals. (Mika-27; Hayes-25). They’re the first pair of Rangers’ centermen to accomplish this feat since the 1996-97 season when Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky turned the trick.
PK ALL DAY: A two-for-two performance on the penalty-kill restored order to the Blueshirts’ universe. And through 81 games, they’ve held their opponents to one power-play goal or less 75 times.
The Rangers face Nolan Patrick and the Flyers Saturday (April 7) at Wells Fargo Center. Game time: 3 p.m. ET. Broadcast: NBC.
The Blueshirts’ 2-1 loss ensures the Islanders will not pass them in the draft order; barring a miraculous upset in the draft lottery.