- Last Updated: 9:45 AM, March 8, 2013
- Posted: 12:53 AM, March 8, 2013
The Rangers were not given anything last night, no matter how many dirty looks and slanted words the Islanders had for the referees afterward.
Once Marian Gaborik blasted home a slap shot 42 seconds into overtime, giving the Rangers a 2-1 win, it was the fact Michael Grabner sat in the home team’s penalty box at the Coliseum that seemed to irk those storming off more than anything.
“If that’s the way [the referee] wants to call the game, that’s the way he calls the game,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said, his team not getting one chance on the man-advantage the whole game compared to the Rangers’ three. “I feel bad for our guys because they worked hard tonight and they deserved at least one or two power plays. So it [stinks], but there’s nothing you can do about it.”
In going off the ice after Gaborik scored, the Islanders (10-11-3) got two game misconducts, one on forward Kyle Okposo and one on the “team staff” aimed at assistant coach Brent Thompson, both of whom vehemently let their point of views known to the men in stripes.
“You can’t dwell on the referees,” Capuano said, clearly still steamed as his team’s two-game winning streak is no more. “You can’t dwell on only getting one point instead of two.”
The Rangers (12-8-2), who host the Senators tonight, have won four in a row, not at all coincidental with the return of superstar winger Rick Nash. With just over five minutes remaining in the game, the Islanders up 1-0 after a first-period Grabner goal, Nash settled into position on the left circle and deflected in a Derek Stepan point shot.
“He doesn’t speak,” Rangers’ coach John Tortorella said about Nash. “He just goes out and plays.”
All of Nash’s eight goals this season have come in the third period, and he now has five goals and three assists in four games since returning from his four-game absence.
“It’s a pretty easy mindset — you get a chance to pass it over to Rick Nash, you get it over to Rick Nash,” Stepan said. “He just seems to break guys down one-on-one, make great passes. He just gets the job done.”
The passing is what led to the game winner, as Nash came streaking up the right side in overtime and tossed one toward a streaking Michael Del Zotto. Grabner hooked him down — whether the Islanders believe it or not — and on the ensuing 4-on-3 power play, Gaborik slammed one over the glove of Evgeni Nabokov (35 saves) for his first goal in eight games.
“He scores a big goal,” Tortorella said of Gaboirk. “I’m sure it’s going to help his confidence.”
Although it was low-scoring, both teams played well throughout with few turnovers and sparkling goaltending. Nabokov seemed destined for his second shutout of the season before Nash ruined it, and Henrik Lundqvist stood tall when he needed to in making 28 saves.
Whether the call on Grabner was warranted or not — and whether the Islanders deserved at least one power play they didn’t get — are regardless of the fact that in a tight game, sometimes the smallest things can make a difference.
“I thought we were playing well throughout the game and we just needed to stay with it,” Tortorella said. “Just play our game, and that’s what we did.”Follow @NYPostsports