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Game Preview: New York Islanders at New York Rangers 2/7/13

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
New York Islanders

4-4-1 (9 points – 3rd in Atlantic Division, 8th in Eastern Conference)
3-1-1 road
New York Rangers
4-5-0 (8 points – 4th in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)
3-2-0 home
7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY

Television: MSG+2

Radio: WHRU 88.7 FM
Chris King: Play-by-play
Season series (2011-12)
The Islanders went 2-3-1 against the Rangers last season, going past 60 minutes in the final two contests. The Islanders won in a shootout on Feb. 24, but the Rangers returned the favor with six seconds left in overtime on March 11. Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves, while Travis Hamonic (two assists) and John Tavares (one goal, one assist) each had multiple-point efforts.

The Islanders and Rangers will meet three more times this season, including twice at Nassau Coliseum.

Rangers player to watch
Rick Nash - Left Wing
Acquired in possibly the biggest trade of last summer, Rick Nash hasn't posted less than 27 goals in a season since his rookie campaign of 2002-03, and has twice topped 40 goals. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 Draft has two goals and five assists through nine games and leads team forwards in average time on ice at 21:33.

Islanders Storylines
•The Islanders rank third in the East (fourth overall) on the penalty kill at 90.3% (28/31)
•At 3-1-1 on the road, only two Eastern Conference teams (New Jersey, Toronto) have more points than the Islanders' seven away from home
•C John Tavares ranks second among NHL forwards with 22:00 of ice time per game
C Keith Aucoin ranks fifth in the NHL in faceoff percentage among players who have taken at least 35 draws at 60.8% (59-for-97)
The Matchup
23.7 (9/38)
90.3 (28/31)


Power play
Penalty kill
Goals for
Goals against
Last 10 games


8.6% (3/35)
78.0 (32/41)

New York Islanders projected lines
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 53 Casey Cizikas

37 Brian Strait - 2 Mark Streit
47 Andrew MacDonald – 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 7 Matt Carkner

20 Evgeni Nabokov
39 Rick DiPietro
New York Rangers projected lines
61 Rick Nash - 19 Brad Richards - 10 Marian Gaborik
62 Carl Hagelin - 21 Derek Stepan - 14 Taylor Pyatt
45 Aaron Asham - 15 Jeff Halpern - 22 Brian Boyle
20 Chris Kreider - 8 Darroll Powe - 47 J.T. Miller

4 Michael Del Zotto - 18 Marc Staal
6 Anton Stralman - 27 Ryan McDonagh
41 Stu Bickel - 97 Matt Gilroy

30 Henrik Lundqvist
43 Martin Biron
Quote of the Day

“I was part of another rivalry in Finland during the lockout. The team I played for, Lukko Rauma, and the team Jesse Joensuu played for, Assat Pori, were only half an hour apart. It was pretty crazy, especially in their building. The fans would spit at us when we walked onto the ice. People in both towns couldn’t even talk to each other. It was pretty bad. But it’s still not bigger than Islanders-Rangers.”
Islanders center Frans Nielsen, when asked if he had ever seen anything similar to the Isles-Rangers rivalry
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