Knicks Now 7-1 in Woodson Era
The New York Knicks suffered their first loss under interim head coach Mike Woodson Friday night, but came home and won back-to-back contests at Madison Square Garden.
Friday night's game in Toronto was a tough one for the Knicks offensively and defensively. Amar'e Stoudemire led the team with just 17 points; he was one of only three New York players to reach double digits in scoring.
Meanwhile, the Raptors' DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 30 points, Andrea Bargani added 21 and Gary Forbes scored 18 off the bench.
The Knicks came home to host the Detroit Pistons the next night and responded with an impressive 101-79 showing. Though Stoudemire again led the team with 17 points, four other players joined him with 13 or more.
New York took control of the game early and never let up, taking a 13-point lead into halftime en route to a 22-point victory. Rebounds proved to be one of the keys to the win, as the Knicks outmatched the Pistons 54-30.
Unfortunately, Stoudemire left the game in the fourth quarter with what proved to be a bulging disk in his lower back. He is out indefinitely due to the injury.
In the absence of his injured teammate, Carmelo Anthony came through in a big way for the Knicks Monday night against Milwaukee. He led all players with 28 points and 12 rebounds on the way to an 89-80 victory.
Jeremy Lin sat out the game with a knee injury, but backup Baron Davis responded with 13 points. Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler were the Knicks' other double-digit scorers.
The Knicks are now 7-1 under Woodson and 25-25 overall. They will host the Orlando Magic Wednesday night in the finale of a three-game home stand.
Islanders Fall to Lightning, Defeat Panthers
The New York Islanders' road trip brought them to Florida this weekend; they took a tough loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning before defeating the Panthers in a shootout.
The Isles fell behind early in Tampa, as Steven Stamkos drilled two shots past goaltender Al Montoya to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead early in the second period. The Islanders battled all the way back, though, as Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Matt Moulson scored to give their team its only lead of the game.
In the third period, though, things fell apart for the Isles. Tom Pyatt's goal tied the score at 3, and former Islander Tim Wallace scored the game-winner for the Lightning at 12:08.
Sunday night's game against the Panthers was equally hard-fought. Twice Florida took the lead, but goals from Moulson and Okposo tied the score each time.
In the end, it was the Islanders who came out on top in the shootout. Frans Nielsen scored the only goal, making him 7 for 11 in shootouts this season, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped all three Florida shots.
The Isles will finish their road trip in Pittsburgh Tuesday night, then return to Long Island for a three-game home stand.
Rangers Lose to Sabres, Beat Maple Leafs
The New York Rangers lost the final contest of their seven-game home stand Friday night, falling to the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Brian Boyle scored the Rangers' only goal, while Drew Stafford had two for the Sabres.
On the road in Toronto two nights later, the Rangers came out on top with a 4-3 shootout victory. Marian Gaborik scored two of the Blueshirts' three goals in regulation, and Ryan Callahan scored the clincher in the shootout.
The Rangers now enjoy a one-point lead in the Eastern Conference and are two points behind West-leading St. Louis for the Presidents' Trophy. They will travel to Minnesota Tuesday night for the second contest of their three-game road trip.