Anthony, Shumpert Lead Knicks to Victory
Despite the absence of Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks defeated the Orlando Magic Wednesday night, 108-86.
The Knicks took control in the second quarter and put the game away with a 33-18 showing in the third. That third quarter included a 21-0 run, the Knicks' longest string of unanswered points this season.
Playing with a noticeable limp, Carmelo Anthony still managed to score a game-high 25 points. Rookie Iman Shumpert matched him with 25 of his own, setting a new career high.
Baron Davis had another strong showing filling in for Lin, scoring 11 points and contributing seven rebounds and six assists.
Unfortunately for Knicks fans, news broke that Stoudemire may require season-ending surgery to repair the bulging disk in his lower back. An official announcement is expected on Tuesday.
Lin's knee injury does not appear to be serious. He is listed as questionable for Friday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Islanders Win Two Against Penguins
(Photo Courtesy of Joe Galletta)
Facing one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders came away with back-to-back 5-3 victories.
Tuesday night's game was a wild one that saw the Isles score twice in the first period, only to give up two Pittsburgh goals early in the second.
Kyle Okposo's goal later in the period broke the 2-2 tie. A few minutes later, David Ullstrom's power play goal made it 4-2, and Frans Nielsen's second score of the game gave the Islanders a 5-2 lead.
Making their return to Nassau Coliseum after a successful road trip, the Isles again overpowered the Penguins Thursday night, 5-3.
Marty Reasoner's first goal of the season gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead, but the Penguins struck back in the second period to tie the score at 1. Three straight New York goals made it 4-1, but Pittsburgh battled back within one on the strength of two goals in the third period.
At the end of regulation, Josh Bailey's second goal of the game gave New York a 5-3 victory. With assists on the other three Islanders goals, Bailey recorded his first career five-point game; Okposo also scored twice for the Islanders.
The Isles hope to finish the season strong as their final three-game home stand continues. They will face the Boston Bruins Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Rangers Complete 3-0 Road Trip
With back-to-back wins against the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets, the New York Rangers held their ground atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Tuesday night's game against Minnesota was an appropriately wild affair. Brian Boyle's goal gave New York a 1-0 lead in the first, but Kyle Brodziak's score tied the game at 1. Marian Gaborik gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead, only to see his former team tie the score again.
In the third period, though, Ruslan Fedotenko scored to give the Rangers their final 3-2 lead. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist held off the Wild for the win.
The Rangers got off to a weak start the next night in Winnipeg, as the Jets scored twice to take a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
The rest of the contest, though, belonged to New York. Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Callahan scored later in the second to tie the game at 2; Boyle and Derek Stepan scored in the third to secure the 4-2 victory.
With a little help from the Islanders, the Rangers now enjoy a five-point lead over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference standings, and are just one point behind West-leading St. Louis for the Presidents' Trophy.
They will take another shot at the NHL lead as they host the Montreal Canadiens Friday night.
NFL Announces Draft Order
After announcing compensatory picks in this year's NFL Draft, the National Football League announced the full selection order on Tuesday.
As Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants will have the last pick in each of the draft's seven rounds. They were also awarded one compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round.
The Jets, who have been more active so far this off-season, will have a total of ten draft picks. They will retain their selections in the first three rounds, including the sixteenth overall pick.
The Jets traded away their own picks in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds, but acquired two other picks by trade. They were also awarded four compensatory selections.
The 2012 NFL Draft will take place April 26-28 in New York.