Knicks Defeat Sixers, Come Up Short Against Grizzlies
Hosting Philadelphia Wednesday night, the Knicks came through with their sixth win of the season. On the road in Memphis the next night, they Grizzlies handed them their fifth loss.
New York (6-5) found that the early lead made all the difference in each game. The Knicks took a substantial 28-15 lead into the second quarter against Philadelphia, and hung on to win 85-79 despite being outscored the rest of the way.
Conversely, the Knicks fell behind early against the Grizzlies, trailing 49-38 at the half and 75-52 entering the fourth quarter. They rallied for 31 points in the final quarter, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Grizzlies won 94-83.
The Knicks struggled against Memphis (4-6) thanks in part to the absence of two key players. Carmelo Anthony left the game with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter due to a sprained right ankle, and Amar'e Stoudemire ran into foul trouble early on. The Grizzlies took full advantage of Stoudemire's absence, scoring 10 unanswered points in the first quarter to build a double-digit lead.
In Anthony's and Stoudemire's absences, reserve forward Bill Walker matched his season high with 14 points.
The Knicks will finish their road trip in Oklahoma City Saturday before returning to New York Monday.
Rangers Winning Streak Ends at Five
With a shootout victory at home Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Rangers pushed their winning streak to five. That streak ended at five as they fell to the Ottawa Senators Thursday night.
In Tuesday's game, the Rangers and Coyotes were scoreless through the first two periods. New York's Ruslan Fedotenko scored early in the third period to take a 1-0 lead, but Phoenix's Radim Vrbata scored later in the period to tie it at one.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made two key saves at the end of overtime to force the shootout, and Derek Stepan's sixth-round goal carried the Rangers to victory.
On Thurdsay, though, the Rangers couldn't get anything past Senators goalie Craig Anderson. Anderson, who recorded his first shutout of the season, held off multiple key shots early in the game.
Meanwhile, Jason Spezza scored twice for the Senators, who also picked up a goal from Milan Michalek to secure the 3-0 victory.
The Rangers fell to 27-10-4 on the season, leaving them first overall in the Eastern Conference and second in the league behind Vancouver. They will head on the road to face the Maple Leafs and Canadiens Saturday and Sunday.
Islanders Defeat Red Wings, Fall to Flyers
The New York Islanders started their four-game home stand with a win and a loss, defeating Detroit Tuesday but losing to Philadelphia Thursday.
The Islanders (15-20-6) overpowered the Red Wings with a 5-1 performance. Matt Moulson came through with two goals, while John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner each scored one.
Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov held Detroit to just one goal on 24 shots. Justin Abdelkader scored the Wings' only goal in the third period.
After dominating Detroit, the Islanders took a tough loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. New York out-hit and out-shot the Flyers, but Philadelphia came out ahead in the scoring.
Philadelphia goaltender Sergei Brobovsky held the Islanders in check, stopping 33 of their 35 shots. Perhaps the best two of those 33 saves came against forward Michael Grabner, who drilled a penalty shot in the first period and a high backhand midway through the second.
Sean Couturier scored the game-winning goal for the Flyers late in the third period. The Islanders saw their home winning streak end at three.
The Islanders will try to finish their home stand on a winning note as they face the Sabres Saturday and the Predators Monday.