In the four games the New York Rangers have ever played at Barclays Center, they’ve had the same amount of success that the arena’s main tenants, the Brooklyn Nets, have had in the building in the new calendar year.
That is, to say, none.
Andrew Ladd scored two goals, and the New York Islanders came back from a first period deficit to defeat the Rangers 4-2 on Thursday night. With the loss, the Rangers fell to 0-3-1 all-time at Barclays Center.
The Rangers (37-19-1) actually jumped out to a 1-0 lead. They began the game on a sour note, spending four of the game’s first eight minutes shorthanded. The penalty kill unit, fresh off a perfect night on Monday at Columbus, kill off both penalties, and the persistence paid off when Mats Zuccarello found Nick Holden for a goal past Thomas Griess for the 1-0 lead.
But the Islanders struck back in the second, a pair of goals changing the course of the game. Anders Lee scored his 22nd of the season, finding an open portion of the net while the Rangers’ fourth line, tired from an icing call, was on the ice. Less than four minutes later, a Marc Staal turnover sent the puck to Stephen Gionta, who subsequently found Laad for the go-ahead score.
The Rangers figured to catch a break at the end of the period, when Josh Bailey was charged with a double minor for high sticking Ryan McDonagh late in the second period, but the Islanders ended up scoring a shorthanded goal in the third period, Nikolay Kulemin doing the honors. The Rangers would end up scoring on the power play, with Jimmy Vesey providing the tally, but further Rangers pressure proved fruitless, and Ladd added an empty netter in the penultimate minute for the final 4-2 score.
The Rangers have dropped two of three games to the Islanders this season, but they’ll have one chance to know the season set up at Madison Square Garden on March 22. Their next contest will also come against Metropolitan Division competition, as they’ll face the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon (12:30, NBC).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490