The Rangers got some solid goaltending out of Henrik Lundqvist and put together a solid effort. After falling behind 1-0 early, the Blueshirts answered quickly and never let the Islanders get much momentum in the game. By keeping things simple down the stretch, the Rangers were able to hang on to pull off the sweep in Yankee Stadium.
The Islanders had a really strong effort throughout the game. The top line of John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Thomas Vanek created a lot of chances, but just couldn't find the back of the net. The Isles still managed to put 31 shots on net, but weren't able to solve Lundqvist.
This was the first of the three Stadium Series tilts that didn't feel as hyped up as the other two. Perhaps being on a Wednesday night and being the second of two games at Yankee Stadium it was bound to happen. That said, there were 50,027 people in the building and likely a larger than average TV audience. This has been a gamble that seemingly paid off in a big way.
Henrik Lundqvist has two wins in Yankee Stadium and was nothing short of brilliant in a 30-save performance against the Islanders. He made several key saves in the third period and helped the Rangers weather a rather strong offensive effort from the Isles.
How about that? Who would have thought it would be Daniel Carcilloputting home the eventual game-winner? He only logged seven minutes of ice time and played his usual snarly game, but was rewarded by being in the right place at the right time. It's not often the tough guys get a chance to shine, but Carcillo picked a good time to do it.
Ryan McDonagh played more than any other player in the game with over 26 minutes of ice. He also saw a lot of short-handed ice time and played his usual steady two-way game. He had a pair of shot blocks and that has to sting in that cold weather. He's been a horse for the Rangers and was again tonight, especially when matched up against the Islanders' top line.
Evgeni Nabokov had some key saves in the game, but both goals looked awfully ugly thanks to some bad rebounds and an inability to recover. Still, he made 32 stops and kept the Islanders in it. We also learned that to stay warm, the trainers were giving him hot water with lemon on the bench. Has to be tough playing goal on nights like that.
Thomas Vanek was one of the Islanders most threatening forwards all night. He led the team with five shots on goal and had a few chances that could have changed the game. Along with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, the Rangers had a hard time slowing down Vanek's line. They did enough to prevent them from scoring though.
Brock Nelson scored the Islanders lone goal and it was a great finish to score five-hole on Lundqvist. With the goal, the rookie forward reached double digits for the season and has a moment he'll never forget. Also, it must have been extra special to score with his grandfather Bill in the crowd. Bill was on the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team that won gold in 1960.
Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also...