Although the Rangers are barely a .500 team and are currently out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, they have won all three games against the Islanders this season.
The Rangers are unbeaten in seven straight meetings (5-0-2) with their biggest rivals dating to a 3-1 home loss on Nov. 23, 2002.
The Rangers continued their dominance in the series on Saturday, winning 3-2 on the road to improve to 11-2-1 at Nassau Coliseum since the start of the 1998-99 season.
"It seems when we play this team there's a lot more concentration," Rangers coach Glen Sather said. "We've been trying all year to get these guys to concentrate on every game like it's an Islander game."
That didn't happen on Sunday, as the Rangers returned to Madison Square Garden and lost 2-1 in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Alex Kovalev gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 4:06 in with his eighth goal, but Tampa Bay tied it 2:31 later. The game then stayed scoreless until the Lightning scored the winner at 2:03 of overtime.
"It would have been nice to win tonight, but Tampa just kept coming," said Rangers goalie Mike Dunham, who lost despite stopping 37 shots. "The important thing, if there is a positive side, is we got one point.
"In the old days, you wouldn't have gotten anything. That really would have been a bummer to get nothing."
The Rangers, who haven't made the playoffs for six straight seasons, trail the Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers by one point for eighth place in the conference.
The Islanders haven't played since losing to the Rangers on Saturday. They have just one win in their last five games (1-3-1) since winning six straight from Dec. 21-31.
"I don't think we came out as a team in the first period," said Islanders goalie Garth Snow, who was pulled after the Rangers scored three times on their first seven shots. "They just outplayed us. Individually, we were not where we should be."
The Islanders, who have scored just 10 goals in their last five games, could get a boost offensively Tuesday as 17-year veteran Cliff Ronning is expected to make his debut after signing with the club on Friday.
Ronning has two goals and three assists in his last four games against the Rangers.