Knicks Lose to Pacers, Defeat Magic
On the road in Indiana on Tuesday, the New York Knicks suffered just their third loss under interim head coach Mike Woodson, 112-104.
Carmelo Anthony had another huge game for the Knicks, easily leading all scorers with 39 points. New York led for most of the game, but ultimately fell short as the Pacers scored a whopping 40 points in the fourth quarter.
Two nights later in Orlando, the Knicks bounced back with a 96-80 victory. Seven New York players combined to make 13 3-point shots in the win.
New York (28-27) saw five players reach double digits in scoring, led by Anthony with 19. On defense, center Tyson Chandler held Orlando's Dwight Howard in check: The six-time All-Star didn't score until the end of the third quarter, and finished with just eight points and eight rebounds.
The Knicks will return to Madison Square Garden to host the Chicago Bulls on Easter Sunday.
Islanders Win Final Home Game
The New York Islanders lost to the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night, but returned to Nassau Coliseum Thursday and defeated the Jets in their final home contest of the 2011-12 season.
On Tuesday, Patrik Elias opened the scoring for the Devils early in the first period, but Matt Moulson's goal tied the score less than three minutes later.
In a game in which neither team took many shots, the Devils broke the tie in the second period, and an empty-net goal in the third secured their victory.
With something to prove, the Isles triumphed over the Winnipeg Jets at home Thursday night, 5-4.
The first period was a wild one: Back-to-back goals from Moulson and Kyle Okposo gave the Islanders a 2-0 advantage, but the Jets scored twice to even the score at 2. Okposo scored again in the second period, but Zach Bogosian scored for Winnipeg in the third to pull the Jets even again.
Michael Grabner starred for the Isles in the final period, scoring at 11:45 to put his team ahead 4-3, but a Jets goal less than a minute later tied the game again. With overtime looming, Grabner slapped one past goaltender Chris Mason to win the game for New York.
With an assist on Okposo's second goal, John Tavares notched his 50th of the season. He was named Islander of the Year, and Matt Moulson was honored with the team's 2012 Good Guy Award. The team also honored Steve Staios, who played in his 1,000th career NHL game.
The Islanders will face the Blue Jackets Saturday for their final game of the season.
Rangers Split Final Two Regular-Season Road Games
Four goals in the first period propelled the New York Rangers to victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night.
Four different Rangers drilled goals past Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in the first, and Marian Gaborik added a score in the second. The Rangers completed a season sweep of the Flyers (6-0-0) for only the second time in franchise history and secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Rangers found themselves on the other end of a scoring outburst Thursday night: The Penguins opened up for five goals, while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury held the Rangers to just two.
Because West-leading Vancouver also lost Thursday, the Rangers are still tied atop the NHL standings; with 51 wins to the Canucks' 50, they are in position to take the Presidents' Trophy with a win against Washington Saturday.
Mets Defeat Braves on Opening Day
Johan Santana made his triumphant return to the mound at Citi Field, and David Wright drove home the deciding run as the New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 1-0.
The game began with a moving tribute to Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who passed away in February. Carter's wife and three children through out the ceremonial first pitches, with four former teammates serving as catchers.
Santana pitched five shutout innings for the Mets (1-0), including a stretch of 12 straight Braves retired. He ran into trouble in the fifth inning, but got out of the jam by inducing a ground out from center fielder Michael Bourn.
Manager Terry Collins turned to the bullpen in the sixth inning, and relievers Ramon Ramirez, Tim Byrdak, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco combined for four more shutout innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, center fielder Andres Torres reached base with a walk, and Wright brought him home with a base hit. That proved to be the only score of the game.
Ramirez (1-0) earned the win for the Mets, and Francisco recorded his first save in a Mets uniform.
The Mets will turn to knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey as they face the Braves again Saturday at 1:10 PM.
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