The Rangers head into the Barcalys center for the first time this season. The Rangers last met on January 13, 2018, nearly a month ago, in which the Islanders stomped the Rangers 7-2. Fast forward a month now the Rangers look to return the favor with a win in Brooklyn Thursday night.
The Rangers have lost 10 of the last 11 times they have traveled to the Barclays center to face off vs the Islanders. The Islanders are 9-1-0 in the last 10 meetings between the two, inclunding two wins this season. Despite the Islanders success against the Rangers they are currently three points behind Carolina for the last wild card spot. As the Rangers are last in the Metrpoltian division, one point behind the Islanders, they are 3-7-0 in their last ten and 9-15-12 on the road.
The Rangers and Islanders rivalry has been established for well over thirty years now, the moment the Islanders came into the NHL in 1972, the Rangers and Islanders immediately disliked each other. An original six team, both battling for territorial bragging rights to New York’s team and a constant back and forth battle between not only players but fans as well.
This rivalry may be much more livid off the ice, between the fans, for those who have not been to a Rangers vs Islanders games, they are not for the weak-hearted individuals. For those thinking, jeez how bad could it be, it is just fans at a hockey game. Well remember these are “New Yorkers” (heavy accent on the ers), secondly not to sound like I am putting on into a category or judging but a majority of these New Yorkers are Italian, drinking beer and have tempers. Get this straight, mildly intoxicated Italians with some short tempers, cheering on their favorite New York team. Yeah this is what happens….
Anyways, the players we can keep an eye on tonight are:
Kevin Hayes on the front end, the Rangers forward has recorded five points, two goals three assists in a three-game point streak. As well as Rangers defense man’s John Gilmour and Tony DeAgnelo, who have recently be playing 18 plus minutes a game since joining the squad and have a combined one goal and two assists between the two. The reason I mention these two is because they go up against other youth players on the Islanders, Anthony Beauvillier, Matt Barzal so let’s see the two handle their own.
For the Islanders it has to be Matt Barzal the rookie sensation has been an absolute phenomenon as of late, recording six assists in three games and 22 points over 16 games. Also for the Islanders is Jaroslav Halak who on the season struggles, but against the Rangers Halak has seen major success in years past and this season. In the two contests this season Halak has allowed five goals, two wins, 2.40 goals against, .938 save percentage and stopping 45 of 50 shots this season. That’s Halaks best numbers against a team this season in which he has started two or more games in.
Rangers line up:
Nash- Zibanejad- Zuccarello
Sracthes: Paul Carey
Out: Chris Kreider, Kevin Shattenkirk, Pavel Buchnevich, Ondrej Pavalec, Ryan McDonagh, Steve Kampfer, Marc Staal
Islanders line up:
Scratched: Alan Quine, Jason Chimera, Sebastian Aho
Out: Nikolay Kulemin, Scott Mayfield, Calvin De Haan, Shane Prince