NY Sports Update, February 3rd, 2012: Knicks overpower Pistons but lose to Bulls, Islanders start second half on winning note, and other sports news


Knicks Overpower Pistons, Lose to Bulls; Islanders Start Second Half on Winning Note; After the Break, Rangers Win and Lose in Shootouts;

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Knicks Overpower Pistons, Lose to Bulls

The Knicks snapped their three-game losing streak Tuesday with a convincing 113-86 victory over the struggling Detroit Pistons.

In his return to the starting lineup, Carmelo Anthony demonstrated why he is among the NBA's best when healthy. The Knicks forward led all scorers with 25 points and added six assists.

Anthony had plenty of help on offense, as Landry Fields contributed 18 points, Tyson Chandler added 17 and Amar'e Stoudemire chipped in 15. Bill Walker had another good game off the bench, with 11 points.

Thanks in large part to Anthony and Fields, the Knicks surged to a 33-24 lead in the first quarter. They never really let up, and put the game away by outscoring the Pistons 24-12 in the third quarter.

The Knicks' success didn't quite carry over to the next game, though, as they fell to the Bulls 105-102.

It was a hard-fought game in which the Knicks fell behind early, trailing 55-44 at the half. They staged a dramatic comeback and entered the final quarter trailing by just two points, but ultimately came up short.

Stoudemire and Anthony came up big for the Knicks again, scoring 34 and 26 points respectively. However, both players also missed potential game-tying three-pointers in the game's final seconds. Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose carried the Bulls to victory with 15 points in that critical fourth quarter.

Despite glimmers of brilliance, the Knicks (8-14) have now lost 10 of their last 12 games. They hope to achieve some more consistent success as they head to Boston Friday night.

Islanders Start Second Half on Winning Note

Coming off his first career All-Star nod, John Tavares led the New York Islanders to victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Tavares drilled two goals and added two assists for his third four-point game of the season. He also reached the 50-point milestone on the year, becoming the first Islander to score 50 in three consecutive seasons since 2002.

It was an excellent offensive night across the board. Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo, Mark Streit and PA Parenteau all had multi-point games, contributing to the Islanders' 5-2 victory.

Call-up goaltender Kevin Poulin stopped 21 of 23 shots to pick up his first victory of the year for New York (20-22-7). He held the Hurricanes scoreless through the first two periods, giving his teammates time to build up a nearly insurmountable lead.

The Islanders hope to pick up another win on the road in Ottawa Friday night before they return to Long Island Saturday.

After the Break, Rangers Win and Lose in Shootouts

On Tuesday night, the New York Rangers fell just short in a hard-fought game against the New Jersey Devils.

The Rangers opened the scoring with Anton Stralman's first-period goal, but the Devils tied the score in the second on the strength of Zach Parise's score. The third period saw the Rangers take the lead twice, only to have the Devils tie it up in the last minute to force overtime.

The score remained tied at 3, forcing a shootout in which Ilya Kovalchuck netted a goal for the Devils. Goaltender Martin Brodeur sealed the Devils' victory by holding off Derek Stepan, Brad Richards and All-Star Game MVP Marian Gaborik.

Fortunately for Rangers fans, their team had better luck in a shootout at the end of Wednesday's game. It was a duel of goalies as Henrik Lundqvist saved all 34 of the Sabre's goals through overtime.

Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller matched Lundqvist save for save, though, as he stopped 29 shots in regulation.

Lundqvist's lone blemish came in the shootout, as he stopped four goals and allowed one to Buffalo center Jason Pominville. That was enough for the victory, as Gaborik scored in the first round of the shootout, and Ryan Callahan drove in the decisive goal.

Lundqvist was credited with his 41st career shutout, giving him sole possession of second place on the Rangers' all-time list. He is now just eight shutouts shy of Hockey Hall of Famer Ed Giacomin's franchise record.

The Rangers will return to New York this Sunday, facing the Flyers in the first match of a three-game home stand.