Final SO

Series (Game 5 of 8)

New York leads 5-3

Game 1: Sunday, December 3rd
Islanders7Final
Rangers4
Game 2: Tuesday, December 19th
Islanders4Final
Rangers3
Game 3: Tuesday, December 26th
Rangers0Final
Islanders2
Game 4: Tuesday, January 9th
Islanders5Final
Rangers3
Game 5: Monday, March 5th
Islanders1Final
SO
Rangers2
Game 6: Thursday, March 8th
Rangers2Final
Islanders1
Game 7: Sunday, March 25th
Rangers2Final
OT
Islanders1
Game 8: Tuesday, April 3rd
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SO
Islanders3

Islanders 1

(33-23-10, 76 pts)

Rangers 2

(32-27-7, 71 pts)

Coverage: NBCSN

7:00 PM ET, March 5, 2007

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 3 SO T
NYI 1 0 0 01
NYR 0 0 1 12

M. Cullen (Rangers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

P. Prucha (Rangers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. DiPietro (Islanders - G): Saves: 56, Save Pct.: .982

DiPietro makes 56 saves, but Lundqvist saves Rangers in SO

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Rick DiPietro wanted a win, not a record.

DiPietro made an Islanders-record 56 saves, but he came up one save shy in the shootout Monday night in the Rangers' 2-1 victory in the New York-New York matchup.

Elias Says
Rick DiPietro
DiPietro
The Rangers had 57 shots on goal but scored only one goal in their shootout win over the Islanders on Monday. That's the most shots by a team that scored 0 or one goal in over 50 years, since Oct. 9, 1955 when the Maple Leafs had 59 in a 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks behind goaltender Al Rollins.

The Rangers' 57 shots tied the most for either side in a Rangers vs. Islanders game. The Manhattanites had 57 shots in a 5-2 win on Nov. 11, 1973, the Islanders' second NHL season.

Rick DiPietro's 56 saves were the most ever in a regular-season game by an Islanders goaltender and the most by a goaltender on any team since Roberto Luongo made 57 saves for Florida in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Red Wings on Dec. 27, 2002.

• Read more Elias Says.

"It's my job to make as many saves as I can. I was able to do that for the most part," said DiPietro, who made a career-high 15th straight start. "It's always tough to lose."

DiPietro allowed only an early third-period goal to Petr Prucha, and a score by Matt Cullen in the second round of the shootout. That was enough to beat him in a game that had playoff implications and every bit of a postseason atmosphere.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made the biggest save when he stopped Randy Robitaille on the final shot of the tiebreaker. Cullen scored the only shootout goal, beating DiPietro over the blocker after freezing him with a head fake.

"It was a good move," DiPietro said. "He made a quick shot."

The Rangers' second straight shootout victory lifted them into a 10th-place tie in the Eastern Conference, two places and two points behind Carolina and the playoff cutoff. The seventh-place Islanders are three points ahead of Carolina.

Jason Blake scored the lone goal for the Islanders, who won the first four from the Rangers this season and have points in 18 of 20 games overall (12-2-6). The teams will meet three more times on Long Island, including Thursday night.

"We know we can play a lot better," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "We'll lick our wounds and get ready for the rematch."

The Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak to the Islanders. The streak matched their worst stretch against their biggest rival since the series began in 1972.

Lundqvist made 29 saves for the Rangers, who went 3-1-2 on a season-high, six-game homestand. Four were decided in shootouts.

"Huge points for us," Cullen said. "Nothing we can sit on because we play them in a couple of days."

In a first period otherwise dominated by the Rangers, the Islanders grabbed the lead with 1:43 left in the frame. Blake took advantage during the Islanders' first power play, sending a shot off the leg of Rangers defenseman Paul Mara that caromed past Lundqvist.

The Islanders' power play has gotten a recent jump-start with the acquisitions from Edmonton of forward Ryan Smyth and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron. The unit clicked four times in seven chances during Smyth's first two games and went 7-for-20 in Bergeron's initial six.

Blake extended his career high with his 33rd goal.

The Rangers held a 17-6 shots advantage in the first period and 36-19 through 40 minutes, yet they couldn't dent DiPietro.

They needed only 26 seconds of the third to get even. Jed Ortmeyer fired a hard shot from inside the blue line that DiPietro kicked out, but Prucha quickly got to the fat rebound and fired a shot over the goalie's glove for his 16th goal and third in seven games.

Then the action turned frantic as the Rangers sought their first lead.

They peppered DiPietro relentlessly around the 7-minute mark, forcing him to spin to make saves and keeping the puck buried in the Islanders' zone. He even deflected a shot with his blocker while facing away from the pressure.

"We wanted to shoot the most pucks we could at the net," Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr said. "Hopefully we are going to score some ugly goals. It didn't happen but maybe next game. He has to be tired after 50 shots."

Lundqvist was solid, too, but was bailed out when Andy Hilbert's shot during a breakaway hit the left post.

Sean Avery was at his agitating best in the opening 5 minutes of the game, goading DiPietro into punching him with a glove to draw a roughing penalty. But it was Avery who was left raising his arms in disgust and frustration when DiPietro stopped his shot in close with 5:46 left in regulation for save No. 50.

The Rangers put up 19 shots in the third period and allowed eight.

Game notes


Rangers LW Martin Straka returned after missing three games (shoulder). But LW Marcel Hossa went out in the second period with a sprained MCL in his left knee. ... Islanders captain Alexei Yashin, who missed his 16th straight game (knee), is expected to return Thursday. ... The Islanders allowed 50 shots in a 5-4 shootout victory at Anaheim on Oct. 11. ... The only period the Islanders led in shots was overtime (3-2). ... Billy Smith and Felix Potvin both stopped 55 shots as Islanders.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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