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GET TO THE GAME: Rangers at Islanders - Tonight at 7:05 pm

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Tickets are still available, purchase them here

One of the greatest rivalries in sports returns to the Nassau Coliseum tonight.

You won't find a better atmosphere in the NHL than at an Islanders-Rangers game. Come watch two teams steeped in rich tradition fighting for supremacy of New York.

Tickets are still available for this game, so get them now while you can.

To purchase individual game tickets, click here or visit the Coliseum box office, the Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville or call Ticketmaster at 631.888.9000.

We'll see you tonight for this season's Round 2 of one of the greatest rivalries in sports.

Click here to purchase tickets today!

Brendan Witt and Chris Drury
Islanders (7-4-0) vs. Rangers (7-6-1)

The Islanders-Rangers rivalry continues tonight when the teams battle for the second time on Long Island this season.

In the series opener, the Islanders defeated the Rangers 2-1 behind stellar goaltending from Rick DiPietro and Bryan Berard's game-winning power play goal in his first game of the season.

DiPietro stopped 36 pucks, including all 12 in the third period. Marc-Andre Bergeron contributed a goal and an assist in the game. His goal came just seconds before the opening period ended when he let go a quick snapshot off a faceoff win by Mike Sillinger.

Following the Islanders' dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh on Al Arbour Night, #1500, the Islanders picked up their 13 and 14 points on the season. They rank fourth in the Atlantic Division, a point behind the Rangers and Pittsburgh, but with three games in hand. The Rangers are currently tied for second in the Atlantic Division with Pittsburgh with 15 points. They shut out Philadelphia last night 2-0 for their fourth win in a row..

Two Streaking Teams
The Islanders and Rangers both enter Tuesday's game riding hot streaks. The Islanders have won four out of their last five games, including their previous two.

With an odd schedule, giving the Islanders days off at a time, they captured wins over Washington, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, and most recently, Pittsburgh.

The Rangers have been equally hot, raising their record to above .500 with four consecutive wins. They disposed of Tampa Bay, Washington, New Jersey and Philadelphia over the past four games, allowing only two goals in the process.

A Fast Start
For only the seventh time in 35 seasons, the Islanders have recorded at least seven wins in their opening 11 games. Of the previous six Islanders squads to achieve the feat, all reached the postseason, with two ending as Stanley Cup Champions.

Of the seven wins this season, six have come against teams that made the 2006-07 postseason. The Islanders are 6-0-0 against teams that reached the 2006-07 playoffs.

Below are the seasons in which the Islanders started the season with at least seven wins in their first 11 contests.

Season Record
2001-02: 9-0-1-1
1982-83: 9-2-0
1981-82: 8-1-2
1976-77: 7-2-2
1974-75: 7-2-2
1987-88: 7-3-1
2007-08: 7-4-0


(potential lines and D pairings)

39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
14 Chris Campoli - 8 Bruno Gervais

26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 7 Trent Hunter
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 13 Bill Guerin
10 Richard Park - 63 Josef Vasicek - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon – 29 Ben Walter - 2 Aaron Johnson

Day-to-day: Sean Bergenheim, Shawn Bates

30 Henrik Lundqvist
40 Stephen Valiquette

3   Michal Rozsival - 8 Marek Malik
51 Fedor Tyutin - 5 Daniel Girardi
18 Marc Staal – 27 Paul Mara

81 Marcel Hossa - 19 Scott Gomez - 68 Jaromir Jagr
14 Brendan Shanahan - 23 Chris Drury – 10 Nigel Dawes
44 Ryan Hollweg - 17 Brandon Dubinsky - 25 Petr Prucha
28 Colton Orr - 15 Blair Betts - 34 Jason Strudwick

Crucial Matchup: Jagr vs. Witt
It's power against power when Jaromir Jagr matches up against Brendan Witt. With Jagr skating down the right side on his off-wing, Witt has the daunting task of stopping the five-time Art Ross Trophy-winner.

Witt did a magnificent job shutting down Jagr in the final four meetings of the season last year. In the four contests, Jagr registered only two assists.

Jagr is known to not like playing a physical game, and Witt is fully aware of that. Look for Witt to get in Jagr's face early in order to discourage the Czech right wing.

Top Scoring Islanders vs. Rangers (career)
Player GP Goals
1. Miroslav Satan 51 25
2. Bill Guerin 39 15
3. Mike Sillinger 38 13
Player GP Assists
1. Miroslav Satan 51 18
2. Mike Sillinger 38 14
3. Bryan Berard 24 12
Player GP Points
1. Miroslav Satan 51 43
2. Mike Sillinger 38 27
3. Bill Guerin 39 25


Ted vs. Tom
Since the NHL Lockout, New York hockey fans have been fortunate enough to acquire two of the classier coaches in the NHL.

Ted Nolan brought his players' coach attitude to Long Island to go along with his upbeat personality. Fans, players and the media of Long Island have been blessed with the sincerity that Ted brings to the rink every day.

Across the river, Tom Renney did more than just bring the Rangers back to the playoffs after a nine-year drought, he brought a new respectability to the franchise that it hadn't seen in years.

While the two teams are bitter rivals on the ice, the two coaches have nothing but utmost respect for one another off it. Despite nine contests and many heated on-ice battles between the two teams over the past two seasons, not once has either coach criticized the other for strategies or tactics. That's professionalism at its highest.

After joining the Islanders as head coach, Ted has amassed an impressive 6-1-2 record against the Blueshirts. In two-plus seasons with the Rangers, Renney is 9-7-2 against his cross-river rivals.

Prior to their days with the Islanders and Rangers, Ted and Tom faced each other as head coaches twice during the 1996-97 season. With Nolan as head coach in Buffalo and Renney with Vancouver, the two split a two-game season series.

Rangers Try To Get Even
The Islanders have had the Rangers' number lately, going a combined 7-1-2 over their past ten games.

Last season, the scores of the games ranged from a 7-4 barnburner at Madison Square Garden to three one-goal games that ended in overtime or the shootout.

The most important meeting of the season came at the Nassau Coliseum on April 3 with the Islanders' playoff hopes hanging by a thread. A loss in overtime or the shootout would have cost the Islanders the 2007 postseason, but Wade Dubielewicz came through in the shootout and the rest is history.

Whose Side Are You On?
A total of 58 NHLers have laced up their skates for both the Islanders and Rangers. Three players from the current rosters have played for both New York teams – Chris Simon, Bryan Berard, Martin Straka, Jason Strudwick and Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette.

Other members of the Islanders organization who have played for both New York squads include assistant coach Dan Lacroix and goaltending coach Mike Dunham.

Islanders vs. Rangers All-Time Series:
All-Time: 93-94-19-3
Home: 58-37-8-2
Road: 35-57-11-1
OT: 4-8-17
Last Win: 10/10/07, Islanders 2, Rangers 1
Last Loss: 3/25/07, Islanders 1, Rangers 2 (OT)
2006-07: Islanders won series 5-1-2 (2-1-1 at home; 3-0-1 on road)
2007-08: Islanders lead series 1-0

2007-08 Islanders vs. New York Rangers Schedule:

October 10, 2007: Islanders 2, NY Rangers 1
November 6, 2007: Islanders vs. NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
November 19, 2007: Islanders at NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
November 29, 2007: Islanders at NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
March 4, 2008: Islanders at NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
March 6, 2008: Islanders vs. NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
April 3, 2008: Islanders vs. NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
April 4, 2008: Islanders vs. NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m.

To purchase individual game tickets, click here or visit the Coliseum box office, the Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville or call Ticketmaster at 631.888.9000.

Search "Rangers" in the Islanders TV console to see video highlights from Islanders-Rangers games.

compiled by Jason Lockhart and Adam Baruch

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