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New York Rangers at New York Islanders

Returning Weight factors in Islanders' win over Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Doug Weight's nagging cough reminds him of his bout with swine flu. His creativity on the power play reminds the New York Islanders why they brought back the veteran center for another NHL season.

Weight, in his first game following his illness, assisted on Kyle Okposo's tiebreaking, man-advantage goal in the second period that lifted New York to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

It was the first win in regulation for the Islanders (2-4-5).

"It's always fun to play them and beat them," Weight said. "It's points that we needed badly."

Weight, sidelined for three games, sent a cross-ice pass to Jack Hillen in the Rangers' zone. The defenseman fired a drive that bounced off goalie Henrik Lundqvist and past Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi onto the stick of Okposo, who slammed the puck into the open right side with 1:46 left in the second.

"That play he made to Jack on the backdoor was something that comes with years of experience," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said of Weight. "He can find all the options, and he certainly found that one."

Islanders rookie John Tavares, the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, snapped a four-game scoreless streak with 5:06 left by netting his fourth goal. Tavares was trying to hit Weight with a pass, but the puck bounded in off Lundqvist.

"That's what I was trying to do. Get pucks to the net and get some rebounds," the 19-year-old Tavares said. "It's always nice to be working hard. Sometimes bounces go your way."

P.A. Parenteau, in the Rangers' lineup only because top scorer Marian Gaborik sat out because of an undisclosed injury sustained two nights earlier, scored his first NHL goal.

"It was one of the best feelings in my life, but it definitely would have been better if we won," Parenteau said.

Henrik Lundqvist looked sharp in making 29 saves, but took the loss one day after he was in a minor car accident on his way to practice. The Rangers (8-4-1) are 1-3-1 following a a seven-game winning streak.

New York coach John Tortorella was frustrated that the Islanders were more physical than his club and pushed the Rangers around.

"We're way too easy to play against," Tortorella said.

It is unclear how long Gaborik will be out but the forward, who has 10 goals, will surely want to play Friday at Minnesota when New York takes on his former team. Gaborik spent his first eight NHL seasons with the Wild.

Hillen tied career highs with two assists and two points. He received the lone assist on Matt Moulson's team-leading sixth goal -- scored on a breakaway 55 seconds in.

Dwayne Roloson stopped 34 shots for the Islanders, who earned their second win -- both at home. The Islanders managed to hang on and avoid a repeat of recent third-period collapses.

"We've played well, I just think trying too hard was the culprit," Roloson said. "You can't give any other reason why we were trying so hard ... because we wanted to win so bad. We did whatever we had to do to play a solid 60 minutes."

The 38-year-old Weight kept his shifts short in his return to the ice for the first time since being diagnosed with the H1N1 flu strain eight days earlier. Weight is the fourth NHL player known to have contracted swine flu.

Washington forward Quintin Laing, Edmonton defenseman Ladislav Smid, and Colorado goalie Peter Budaj also have the illness, their teams said this week. Weight, who missed two earlier games this season because of a groin injury, earned his third assist in six games.

Moulson started the scoring when he got free of defenseman Matt Gilroy and forward Chris Drury and raced in alone. He snapped a quick shot that beat Lundqvist's blocker for his fifth goal in eight games.

"I knew they'd come hard, they always do," Lundqvist said. "When they get the start they got, they build from it. I think we recovered pretty good but the late goal in the second killed us.

"You can feel the importance of that goal."

Parenteau tied it at 1 at 8:30 when he got to a loose puck in the slot and sent a backhander through traffic and past Roloson.

The Rangers didn't register many prime scoring chances, and were twice denied by shots that rang off posts. Marc Staal struck iron with 4.5 seconds left in the first period, and Enver Lisin nailed the crossbar in the second.

Notes

  • Hillen also had two assists on March 7 against New Jersey.
  • Rangers enforcer Donald Brashear sat out for the fourth time in seven games due to an undisclosed injury.
  • Parenteau, recalled from Hartford of the AHL on Tuesday, made his Rangers debut. He had one assist in five previous NHL games with Chicago.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kyle Okposo is pumped up after his power-play goal breaks the tie in the second period. (Getty Images)
Kyle Okposo is pumped up after his power-play goal breaks the tie in the second period. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
NY Rangers (8-4-1)1001
NY Islanders  (2-4-5) «1113
Three Stars
D. Roloson
NYI


Saves: 34
Save Pct.: .971
K. Okposo
NYI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Hillen
NYI


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
55.0Matt Moulson (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hillen
08:30P.A. Parenteau (1), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
18:14Power Play - Kyle Okposo (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hillen, Weight
3RD PERIOD
14:54John Tavares (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Tambellini
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
13:54Dubinsky, 2 min, Tripping
19:17Bergenheim, 2 min, Interference
19:17Voros, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
2ND PERIOD
03:15Boyle, 2 min, Roughing
03:15Jackman, 2 min, Roughing
09:37Thompson, 2 min, Tripping
16:54Avery, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
14.0Jackman, 2 min, Tripping
15:38Martinek, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
Rangers8121535
Islanders1312732
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Henrik Lundqvist59:09293
Dwayne Roloson60:00341
Game Information
Attendance - 15213
Referees - Greg Kimmerly, Dan Marouelli
Linesmen - Greg Devorski, Jean Morin
 
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