NEW YORK – Defenseman Matt Gilroy broke a long scoring drought with his first two-goal game in the NHL, and the New York Rangers recorded a season-high 52 shots to cool off the surging New York Islanders with a 7-2 victory Monday night.
As the area dug out of a major blizzard that struck New York on Sunday and into the early hours of Monday, the Rangers handed the Islanders their first loss in four games and snapped their rivals' five-game point streak (4-0-1).
Gilroy gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead just 44 seconds in and then broke a 2-2 tie in the second against Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson, who was chosen as Monday as the NHL's top star for last week. Gilroy, taking the place of scratched defenseman Michael Del Zotto, had gone 64 games without a goal — dating to Nov. 28, 2009. He has six goals in 91 career NHL games.
The Rangers, who outshot the Islanders 52-20, broke the game open with three goals in the third period.
Marian Gaborik, Brian Boyle, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko and Derek Stepan also scored for the Rangers to back goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Boyle added two assists.
Rob Schremp and former Rangers forward P.A. Parenteau scored 1:52 apart in the first period to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. The seven goals were the most allowed by Roloson this season.
The tide totally turned in the second period when the Rangers held an 18-4 shots advantage and scored twice to carry a 4-2 edge into the third.
Roloson, who made 38 saves in a 4-1 home win over Montreal on Sunday night, fell behind quickly on Monday when Gilroy took a pass from Chris Drury at the left point and fired a shot the appear to hit Schremp before finding its way past Roloson.
The Islanders (9-19-6) were on their second three-game winning streak of the season and looking to stretch it to a season-best four, but Roloson couldn't match his success of the previous week.
The 41-year-old netminder, who is a prime candidate to be traded by the Islanders before the March deadline, was 3-0 last week with a 0.98 goals-against average and .972 save percentage. He allowed only one goal in each start and helped the Islanders escape the NHL cellar.
The Islanders went ahead 2-1 when Schremp and Parenteau connected in short order midway through the first.
Schremp carried the puck from the neutral zone into the left circle for a snap shot that caromed in off Lundqvist's glove at 7:51. Parenteau capitalized off a turnover and scored his eighth of the season at 9:43.
The Islanders gave up the lead with 50.4 seconds left in the first when Gaborik, back in the lineup after a one-game absence caused by a sore groin, scored his 10th goal on a power play. The Rangers nearly went back in front, but Drury's shot hit the post with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Gilroy took care of that 12:08 into the second when his fluttering shot somehow eluded Roloson and found its way in. Boyle stretched the advantage to 4-2 with 1:39 left in the period. He raced down the right wing, got around defenseman Jack Hillen and slid a shot in.
Dubinsky and Fedotenko scored off rebounds in the third period, and Stepan netted the Rangers' second power-play goal of the game. Dubinsky connected at 4:14, Fedotenko made it 6-2 at 9:05, and Stepan closed the scoring at 10:34.
NOTES: Islanders C Frans Nielsen left the game in the third period after being struck in the face by Gilroy's stick during the follow-through of a shot. ... LW Mats Zuccarello earned an assist on Stepan's goal for his first NHL point in his second game. ... The Rangers' previous high for shots this season was 43 on Oct. 29 against Carolina. They had 18 in each of the first two periods of this one, tying the season high. ... Parenteau has scored a goal in three of four games and four of six.
(This version CORRECTS Rangers 7, Islanders 2. Corrects to 2nd period in 3rd paragraph. Restores previous.)