New York Rangers @ New York
7:00 p.m. Thursday
Rangers Record: 14-11-1
Islanders Record: 5-12-5
On Thursday, Dec. 2, the Rangers take on the Islanders at
the Nassau Coliseum in the first game of a home-and-home series. The Rangers,
coming off a tough home loss to the Penguins on Monday night, look to get back
to their winning ways against their closest rivals. The Islanders have had a
trying season thus far, landing them in last place in the entire NHL with only
15 points. One of their five wins, however, came against the Rangers on Oct.
11. The Islanders will definitely be looking to replicate that victory,
especially in a season where wins have been hard to come by.
Forward Marian Gaborik has been hot for the Rangers, scoring
at least a point in five of his last seven games. He has also historically been
productive against the Islanders, scoring four goals and four assists against
them since joining the Rangers last season.
The Islanders have not played since Friday, when they shut
out New Jersey for their first win since Oct. 21. The Islanders had been
struggling through a 14-game losing streak before finally breaking through for
the victory. Franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro had 29 saves, good for his 16th career shutout. This win could be the turning point for the Islanders’ season,
or at least a good starting point to bring them out of the trench in which they have been floundering.
Rangers’ captain Chris Drury remains out with injury, as
well as fellow veteran forward Vinny Prospal. The Islanders are suffering from
a slew of injuries: forward Kyle Okposo and defensemen Jack Hillen, Milan
Jurcina, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Mottau, and Mark Streit are all out with
various injuries, and captain Doug Weight is listed as day-to-day.
The Rangers should be able to take the home-and-home from
this decimated Islanders team and start again on a winning streak. But this
game, as all other Rangers-Islanders match-ups, should be filled with intensity
and excitement, so be sure to watch!