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New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers - game preview

by Katrina Doell / New York Islanders
Team Record: 25-27-8

Last Game: 2-1 L @ BUF
Season Series: 1-3-0 of 6
Team Record: 38-15-5
Last Game: 2-0 L vs PIT
Season Series: 3-1-0 of 6
PA Parenteau
Parenteau always seems to live up to his reputation as a feisty playmaker most when he's facing his former team. Since becoming an Islander last season, Parenteau has 13 points (5g/8a) in 10 games against the Rangers. Look for him to be in prime form as he's back on John Tavares' right wing.

Parenteau is one of two Islanders who rank amongst the league's top 30 scorers with a career-high 54 points (Tavares is the other with 58 points). He surpassed his career mark with the primary assist on Frans Nielsen's goal in the third period in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Sabres. 
Ryan Callahan
The Rangers captain has been coming on strong lately. He has played in all 58 games for the Rangers and is second on the team in scoring with 43 points (23g/20a).

In their last 10 games, the Rangers are 7-3-0. Callahan has played a big part in that success with seven points (6g/1a) in that span, including game-winning goals on Feb. 14 and Feb. 11. Look for him to help power the top line with center Brad Richards and rookie left wing Carl Hagelin.
The Rivalry: What more of a storyline can there be for the Islanders and Rangers beside the historic hatred that these teams have shown each other? Both teams get up for these games, and the Islanders will need to draw off the energy of a sell-out crowd to help propel them to grab the much needed two points at stake.

Scoring leaders: The Islanders have two players - Tavares at 14 and Parenteau at 22 - in the top 30 scorers in the NHL. Only one Ranger has at least 50 points - Marion Gaborik. He is also the only Ranger in the leagues top scorers at 30.  

In the locker room: The buzz in the locker room on Thursday was that every game from here on out is must-win. The playoffs are this team's goal, and many of the players talked about the game-by-game climb they will need to make to go on a run.
Carl Hagelin scored two goals as the New York Rangers shut out the Islanders 3-0 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 26, 2011. Marian Gaborik added an empty-netter for insurance and both goalies, Evgeni Nabokov and Henrik Lundqvist, made 28 saves.

Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played Buffalo.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 24 10 weeks
Hamonic 2/4 Broken Nose 9 2 weeks
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 60 out indef. (IR)
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 25 No timetbl. (IR)
Reese 2/7 MCL Sprain 8 4-6 weeks
Power play: 19.1%
Penalty kill: 83.2%
Home record: 13-14-5
Road record: 12-13-3
Goals For: 140
Goals Against: 176
Power play: 13.9%
Penalty kill: 86.7%
Home record: 19-7-2
Road record: 19-8-3
Goals For: 161
Goals Against: 118


Answer from Tuesday's question: The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres game on Jan. 21 1979 was postponed due to foul weather. What conditions caused the game to be postponed to Feb. 14 of that year? The answer is: Rain/Fog. A combination of rain and fog caused the Jan. 21 game to be rescheduled. It is one of five Islanders games that have been changed due to weather. 
Evgeni Nabokov will start, Travis Hamonic will return and Casey Cizikas will make his NHL debut. Click here for the lines and pairs.

Rangers Expected Lineups
Forwards: Hagelin-Richards-Callahan; Anisimov-Stepan-Gaborik; Dubinsky-Boyle-Prust; Rupp-Mitchell-Bickel.

McDonagh-Girardi; Del Zotto-Staal; Stralman-Eminger.

Lundqvist, Biron

Travis Hamonic on whether or not he can play Friday: "That's a decision that will be up to Cappy and the coaching staff. I had a great week of practice. I had to show them that my conditioning level is there. I tried to show that my timing is there. I’m ready to step in whenever called upon.”

Parenteau on being ready for Friday
: “We know what’s at stake here.  We know it’s a big rivalry and we know that the crowd is gonna be going. Guys are excited for this game, we talked about it this morning. There will be a full house. You can’t ask for a better scenario.”

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