The Rangers will be looking for a sweep of their local rival when they host the Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). The Rangers edged the Islanders 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday in the first outdoor meeting between the teams. That victory gave the Rangers a sweep of their two games in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series; they beat their other Metropolitan area rival, the New Jersey Devils, 7-3 on Sunday.
Here's a look at all of the action Friday:
St. Louis Blues at Carolina Hurricanes -- The Blues are looking for their fourth win in a row, and beating the Hurricanes will move them back into first place in the Central Division. St. Louis is coming off a 3-0 home victory against the New Jersey Devils in which it was almost flawless defensively. Carolina had a four-game winning streak ended Tuesday with a 3-0 road loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The Hurricanes are beginning a four-game homestand that will carry them to the Olympic break.
New York Islanders at New York Rangers -- It figures to be a lot warmer at Madison Square Garden than it was in the Bronx on Wednesday, which might help Islanders captain John Tavares snap out of a slump that has seen him go without a point in back-to-back games for just the third time this season. Not coincidentally the Islanders lost both games, part of a four-game winless skid that has dropped them eight points out of the last playoff spot in the East. The Rangers are second in the Metropolitan Division with 61 points after winning both of their outdoor games, part of a stretch that has seen them win seven of 10.
Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings -- Neither team begins the night in possession of one of the eight playoff spots in the East, meaning that their home-and-home series this weekend means a lot to both teams. Washington was beaten soundly by the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road Thursday; captain Alex Ovechkin was on the ice for all five goals in a 5-2 loss and star defenseman Mike Green left in the first period after a hit by Boone Jenner. The Capitals said Green would travel to Detroit for the game but not whether he would be able to play. Detroit is home after a 5-0 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday; the good news is that goaltender Jimmy Howard should be ready to go after missing four games with a knee sprain. Coach Mike Babcock said he thinks captain Henrik Zetterberg's sore back will be healed enough for him to play as well.
New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators -- The Devils wrap a three-game, four-day trip with their first visit to Music City since October 2011. New Jersey let a 2-0 lead get away Thursday and allowed the Dallas Stars to force overtime by scoring in the final minute of regulation, but got a power-play goal by Patrik Elias in overtime to earn a 3-2 victory, their seventh overtime win this season. The Predators return home after a 2-1-1 road trip that ended with a 4-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
Vancouver Canucks at Winnipeg Jets -- The Canucks make their first visit to MTS Centre since the Jets relocated to Winnipeg from Atlanta in the summer of 2011. Vancouver has won the past four games between the franchises and is 6-0-1 in the past seven. But the Canucks are shorthanded as they begin a five-game trip: Defenseman Kevin Bieksa isn't expected to play until after the Olympics, top-line center Henrik Sedin is out with sore ribs and center Mike Santorelli had shoulder surgery Thursday. The Jets are 6-2-0 in eight games since Paul Maurice replaced Claude Noel as coach, though they were beaten 4-3 at home by the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.