Rangers shut out Isles in Trottier's return

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Bryan Trottier would've enjoyed this New
York Rangers victory no matter where it took place.

The former New York Islanders great returned to Nassau Coliseum
with the arch enemy and left with a 5-0 win Tuesday night that gave
the Rangers a key two points as they make a push for the playoffs.

"I think there is something special coming into this
building,'' Trottier said. "The fact is we got two points and
we're happy about that. It was a total team effort.''

Matthew Barnaby scored twice, and Mike Dunham made 31 saves in
beating the Islanders in Trottier's first game on Long Island as
coach of the Rangers.

"We wanted to win for Bryan coming back here and we wanted to
win for ourselves and the two points,'' Dunham said. "We played a
really solid game.''

Barnaby was a key participant in near-fights in the pregame
warmup. He then gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period and
a 3-0 advantage 38 seconds into the second for his sixth career
two-goal effort.

"There was a lot of emotion in the game anyway,'' Barnaby said.
"Your adrenaline gets pumping in a big game, and to control
ourselves the way we did -- it was a huge game for us.''

Dunham posted his second shutout this season and 13th of his
career. Boris Mironov, Joel Bouchard, and Jamie Lundmark also
scored. The 11th-place Rangers trail the seventh-place Islanders by
two points. Eight teams reach the playoffs.

Trottier spent 15 years with the Islanders, winning four Stanley
Cups and forging a Hall of Fame career.

He heard boos when his name was mentioned Tuesday as he coached
against the Islanders for the second time. The Islanders beat the
Rangers on Nov. 23 at Madison Square Garden.

Trottier said he wasn't going to allow himself to become
sentimental in the arena where he spent his best hockey days and
where his No. 19 jersey hangs.

"Nassau Coliseum is the place I used to play and I have a lot
of good memories here,'' Trottier said. "Honestly, it's mixed

The teams were physical before the puck dropped, and the Rangers
-- most notably Barnaby's linemates Eric Lindros and Bobby Holik --
were hitting Islanders all over the ice.

"We were handled in all areas,'' Islanders coach Peter
Laviolette said.

Lindros dropped Oleg Kvasha at center ice midway through the
first period with a high, hard check, Islanders captain Michael
Peca was felled by a shot into the boards, and Holik fell into
Chris Osgood in the third, sending the Islanders' goalie off with a
sprained ankle that will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

"Obviously we were a bit on edge and they were comfortable,''
said Jason Blake, Barnaby's pregame adversary. "They definitely
outhit us.''

Osgood made 22 saves before being replaced by Garth Snow with 14
minutes left. Bouchard and Lundmark scored within the final five

Blake shook up Dunham by crashing into him in the crease in the
first period.

About 20 minutes before the game, the teams converged twice by
the red line. Barnaby got involved in with Arron Asham in a jawing
match and Barnaby appeared to make some contact.

Rangers enforcer Sandy McCarthy squared off with counterpart
Eric Cairns. Each whacked the other's stick and appeared close to
dropping the gloves, but neither wanted to be the first.

"There's too much money involved now, you can't do that it,''
McCarthy said. "I think he's thinking the exact same thing.''

Cairns was hit hard late and sustained a separated shoulder that
is expected to keep him out four to six weeks.

Barnaby made it 1-0 by ripping a shot past Osgood from the edge
of the right circle with 7:39 left. Mironov scored 2:24 later,
converting a cross-ice pass from Petr Nedved.

Barnaby's 10th goal gave the Rangers the 3-0 advantage they
couldn't get Sunday against Philadelphia. New York led 2-0 after
the first period, but lost 4-2, snapping its season-best,
three-game winning streak.

"We've been playing well and we felt we let the Philadelphia
game slip away from us so we were focused,'' Dunham said.

Lindros assisted on Barnaby's goals and Bouchard's with 4:12
left, and Mironov helped set up Barnaby's second. Barnaby has six
goals and five assists since joining Lindros and Holik 12 games
ago. The trio has 15 goals and 23 assists together.

The Rangers are on a 5-2 run and have won nine of 11 on Long
Island. They had dropped three straight to the Islanders.

Game notes
The last five Islanders home games have produced three hat
tricks, in separate games, and two shutouts of New York. ... There
were 10 minor penalties called and no fights.