2006_10_srangerslogo.jpgRangers 2, Islanders 1 (SO): What a shame it would have been if the Rangers had lost this game. They outshot the Islanders, 57-30, and, as the team looking in on the playoffs, they needed this game more. So they and Madison Square Garden breathed a collective sigh of relief when Matt Cullen scored in a shootout and a bigger one when Henrik Lundqvist stopped Randy Robitaille's shot to give the Rangers a 1-0 edge in the three-round shootout.

Why is this win so big? For one, the Rangers had lost five straight -- including four in a row this season -- to the Islanders. The teams play each other again in Uniondale on Thursday, and a loss in this game could have proven devastating. If you can't win when you shoot the puck 57 times, when can you? Also, the Rangers are now within two points of a playoff berth. They still have three more games -- of their 18 remaining -- against the Islanders.