Rangers Double Up Islanders 4-2

In the second leg of four straight against Atlantic Division rivals, the Rangers doubled up the New York Islanders, 4-2, at Madison Square Garden.

Great win last night by the Rangers, and it was great to see Brandon Dubinsky get off the snide after not scoring a goal since Nov. 11. I said this the last time, but maybe this will get Dubinsky going, because although he’s a big part of the team in terms of playmaking and penalty killing — not to mention his grit and physical play — the guy needs to score more goals. This team is pretty void of secondary-scoring, so whenever it could get help from people not named Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan, it’s a good thing.

Speaking of Gaborik, he’s quietly tied for the league-lead with 20 goals this season after scoring his fifth goal in three games. He isn’t mentioned in the same conversation anymore with the elite in the NHL, but boy should he be. The guy is having a fantastic season after his well below-par campaign last year.

Michael Del Zotto continues his strong play this season after splitting time last season with the Rangers and Connecticut Whale (AHL). His offensive contributions from his rookie year seemed to have returned, but the bigger surprise has been the play in his own end. Gone are the blue-line to blue-line passes of years past, and in return we’ve gotten a physical, responsible defenseman. It wouldn’t have counted, but it was a great play when an Islander kicked the puck at the net and MDZ slid across the goal mouth to keep it out.

If Martin Biron isn’t the best backup in the NHL, he’s a really close second. With the win, he improved 7-1 this season with a GAA of 1.84. His save on Michael Grabner in the first period was Henrik Lundqvist-like.

How about Stu Bickel dropping the gloves not once but twice, leading MSG to give a rousing “Stuuuuu” chant. The kid is definitely making an argument to remain in the lineup until Marc Staal and Michael Sauer return.

What were the Islanders thinking by pulling the goaltender before the puck entered the Rangers’ zone? I guess lack of talent isn’t the only reason the Islanders are a bottom-dweller for another season, as poor coaching has something to do with it as well.

I believe Matt Moulson is the ugliest player in the NHL.

Rangers against the Flyers should be a great one tonight. I’m sure I speak for all Rangers fans that we could get used to be being a contender.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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