Can such an exciting game be ruined on the whim of a referee? In this instance, no. The answer is no. Because if any or all of the four officials on the ice swallowed their whistles midway through the third period on a possible tripping call on Chris Kreider, or if the non-call was correct, it doesn’t undercut the excitement and electricity brought to the Coliseum on Monday night. It ended in a flurry when Kevin Klein put on his usual late-game Superman cape — or just once again found himself at the right place at the right time — and buried a wrist shot with 4:32 remaining, his fourth game-winning goal of the season giving the Rangers a dramatic 6-5 win, their first over the Islanders in the four tries. “You don’t come back very often in this league,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, whose team erased three separate two-goal leads. “From that standpoint, it’s obviously very good for our team. But on the other hand, at the end of the day, it’s two points.” This was more than two points. As a matter of fact, it was Vigneault — along with almost everyone else on either team or coaching staff — saying on Monday morning that this was “a four-point game,” which it surely was. It allowed the Rangers (34-16-5) to cut the Islanders (37-19-1) lead in the Metropolitan Division to two points, with the Blueshirts holding two games in hand. Which is exactly why this no-call seemed so monumental. After so many swings of emotion — the Islanders holding leads of 2-0 and 3-1 and 5-3 — the Rangers had finally cut it to 5-4 with about 12 minutes remaining. That’s when Kreider’s stick got near the legs of Johnny Boychuk, and the Islanders defenseman fell in a heap at his defensive blue line while the Blueshirts went on a two-on-one, culminating in Martin St. Louis’ game-tying goal.
Rangers finally down Islanders with thrilling 6-5 victory
New York Post | Feb 17