Once again, the New York Islanders did not beat the New York Rangers. Thanks to defenseman Zdeno Chara, though, they did not lose to their crosstown rivals.
Chara scored his first goal of the season with 3:29 left in regulation as the Islanders gained their first point in three games with a 3-3 tie against the Rangers on Wednesday night.
"I was going to shoot there," Chara said. "I'm not going to be a 40-goal scorer, but that's where I was going to shoot."
Islanders goalie Wade Flaherty made 33 saves to give his team its first point against the Rangers in eight meetings (0-7-1). The Islanders last beat their rivals on April 4, 1998, 3-0.
Petr Nedved gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead at 2:30 of the third when he faked down Flaherty before depositing the puck high into the net. Mike York and Brian Leetch also scored for the Rangers, 4-0-1 when they score at least three goals. When they don't score three or more goals, the Rangers are 0-7-2. Mike Richter turned back 29 shots as New York remained winless in its last five home games (0-4-1).
"When you're struggling you try to do too much," Rangers forward Theoren Fleury said. "You try to make the hard plays instead of the easy ones."
Flaherty's only prior appearance this season was in the third period of a 6-3 loss in Florida on Oct. 27. He relieved Felix Potvin and gave up no goals in his 20 minutes of work. Flaherty played Wednesday because Potvin is 0-6-0 lifetime against the Rangers with a 3.74 goals-against average.
The Islanders made it 1-0 at 8:06 of the opening period just after killing a penalty. Lindgren finished off a 2-on-1 break with Kenny Jonsson by wristing the puck from the right circle past Richter.
The Rangers tied the game with 55.8 seconds left in the period, as York's wrist shot from the inner right circle was their first goal at home in 193:35.
Leetch tied former team captain Ron Greschner for career goals by a Rangers defenseman with 179, when he beat Flaherty on a slap shot from the top of the left circle at 4:08 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. Greschner was in attendance to watch Leetch tie his record.
"I saw Ron behind the net there," Leetch said. "He helped me out a lot when I was first on the team. It's great to have his name brought up and for him to get some recognition for the amount of time he spent here in New York."
Czerkawski tied the game at 9:00 when he flipped home the rebound of newcomer Ted Drury's shot. Drury made his first appearance in an Islanders uniform since he was acquired from Anaheim for Tony Hrkac and Dean Malkoc on Oct. 28.
"Did we sit back?" Rangers coach John Muckler said. "No, but I think we were waiting for an accident to happen and it happened. We did that twice. We did it with a 2-1 lead. Instead of going for the third goal, we turned the puck over in our end zone and we gave up a bad goal. And then we get the 3-2 goal and the same thing happens."
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