There's nothing like a game between the Rangers and Islanders to get New York-area hockey fans' juices flowing. The team's haven't met in more than six weeks, but they'll get together for the opener of a home-and-home series at the Nassau Coliseum on Thursday -- one of eight games on the NHL schedule.
The Isles won the first meeting, 6-4 on Oct. 11, but haven't won much since then. They've been off since snapping a 14-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory against New Jersey on Friday. The Rangers had a two-day break following Monday night's 3-1 home loss to Pittsburgh -- their seventh game in 11 days.
The Rangers-Islanders game is one of five that gets under way at 7 p.m. ET.
Tampa Bay continues a road trip with a stop in Boston. The Lightning is coming off a 4-3 overtime win at Toronto on Tuesday. The Leafs stay home for a game against Edmonton. New Jersey, which bounced back from the loss to the Isles by beating Philadelphia 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday, hosts Montreal in a game that can be seen on RDS in Canada. The Penguins go for their eighth consecutive victory when they host Atlanta. The Thrashers have won their last six, including a 3-2 OT win at Colorado on Tuesday.
A half-hour later, San Jose starts a five-game road trip with a visit to Ottawa in a game that can be seen on the NHL Network in the United States. Both teams are coming off losses -- San Jose dropped a 5-3 decision to Detroit on Tuesday, while Ottawa lost 4-1 to Edmonton on Monday night.
At 8:30 p.m. ET, Pacific Division-leading Dallas tries to build on Monday's 4-1 win at Carolina when it hosts Washington. Two hours later, the Florida Panthers
continue their Western trip with a stop in Los Angeles, where the Kings are trying to bounce back from Monday's 2-0 loss at Anaheim. That game can be seen in Canada on the NHL Network.