Rangers defeat Islanders 5-2 but lose Ryan Lindgren to leg injury

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Playing their sixth game in nine days, the New York Rangers continued their winning ways with a 5-2 victory against the New York Islanders in a Sunday matinee at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers improved to 5-1-0 in their past six games, each played without injured defenseman Jacob Trouba. But their latest win is bittersweet since Ryan Lindgren sustained a gruesome-looking injury to his left leg late in the second period.

Lindgren was ruled out with a lower-body injury which was sustained after battling J.G. Pageau against the boards behind the Rangers net at 15:39 of the second. He crumpled to the ice, holding his left leg in obvious pain.

“He’s a huge part of our team and we wish nothing but the best for him,” defenseman K’Andre Miller said. “Hopefully, he’s doing good.”

Coach Peter Laviolette said postgame that Lindgren is being evaluated for a lower-body injury.

Five different Rangers scored a goal and Miller had two assists. Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves in the win.

“Obviously, a lot of games in a short amount of time. I think it just comes down to the will within the locker room,” Miller said. “We have a lot of guys that can step up that are playing really good hockey right now.”

Bo Horvat scored both goals for the Islanders, who have lost four in a row (0-3-1). Ilya Sorokin made 26 saves.

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New York Rangers 5 – New York Islanders 2

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Though they surrendered the first goal of the game, the Rangers were the better team throughout. Horvat scored a shorthanded goal 14:08 into the first period and the Islanders carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, thanks largely to Sorokin, who was sharp with 12 saves in the opening period.

The Blueshirts tied the game early in the second period and never trailed again. Mika Zibanejad hammered a shot from between the circles and over Sorokin’s glove 27 seconds into the middle period. Zibanejad has three goals in his past five games and 22 this season.

Will Cuylle gave the Rangers their first lead at 10:14 of the second. He accepted a long, perfect pass up ice from Lindgren at the Islanders blue line and sped in on left wing, where he ripped a laser past Sorokin for his 12th goal.

The Islanders did tie it up at 13:55, though. Despite being smothered in front by Barclay Goodrow, Horvat somehow muscled the puck into the net for his sixth goal in the past six games, and 29th this season, to even the score, 2-2.

A bit more than one minute later, Jonny Brodzinski — who had hit the post earlier in the period — restored a one-goal lead for the Rangers with his fifth goal this season. Shortly after, Lindgren sustained his injury.

But that didn’t slow the Rangers, who pulled away in the third period. Kaapo Kakko scored his 10th goal, and second in as many days after potting one in a 7-4 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, at 2:36. Alexis Lafreniere’s 19th goal put this latest win on ice at 10:42.

“It was relentless. We didn’t give them much,” Brodzinski said. “Overall, I think it was a really good game.”

When all was said and done, 13 of the Rangers’ 18 skaters had at least one point in the victory.

“Our team is deep right now, we’re getting contributions up and down the lineup,” Vincent Trocheck said. “Even when lines aren’t scoring, they’re contributing in other ways.”

This was the Rangers final back-to-back set this season. They finished an incredible 11-1-0 in the second game of back to backs.

After a day off Monday, the Rangers return to action when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Whether they’ll be without Lindgren is still to be determined.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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