UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Islanders
captain Doug Weight, in his first game back following a bout with swine
flu, earned an assist on Kyle Okposo's tiebreaking, power-play goal in
the second period that lifted New York to a 3-1 victory over the New
York Rangers on Wednesday night.
Weight, sidelined three games by the
illness, 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.
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 in New York's first
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. 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
The Rangers (8-4-1) are 1-3-1 following a a seven-game winning streak.
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 of the season — scored on a breakaway 55 seconds
into the game.
Dwayne Roloson stopped 34 shots for
the Islanders, who earned their second win of the season (2-4-5) – both
at home. The Islanders managed to hang on and avoid a repeat of recent
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.
Parenteau tied it 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.
Hillen, who has 10 points in
the NHL, also had two assists on March 7 against New Jersey. His only
goal was scored against the Rangers on March 5. … Rangers enforcer
Donald Brashear sat out for the fourth time in seven games due to an
undisclosed injury. Aaron Voros took his place in the lineup. …
Parenteau, recalled from Hartford of the AHL on Tuesday, made his
Rangers debut. He had one assist in five previous NHL games with