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New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders

Team Record: 2-1-0

Last Game: 5-1 W vs. TBL
Season Series: -
Team Record: 0-0-2
Last Game: 2-1 SOL vs. ANA (Stockholm, SE)
Season Series: -
PA Parenteau
It seems as if the Islanders top line picked up right where they left off last season.

Matt Moulson and John Tavares were the second and first stars respectively for their performance in Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Parenteau deserved to be up there as well. He put up a goal and an assist against Dwayne Roloson.

“In the three games, I’ve felt good," Parenteau said. "I’m feeling fast. I have a lot of confidence with the puck. That’s what my game is all about. When I’m confident and I know things are going right, this is when I’m the most dangerous. Hopefully I can keep that swagger that we like to talk about in this locker room.”

Parenteau was also the first of that line to get on the scoresheet this season; he tallied two assists against the Minnesota Wild on Monday. With four points in the first three games, Parenteau ties Tavares for the team lead in points (4). He also has a team-high +3 rating.
Brad Richards
Richards signed a nine-year deal with the Rangers as an unrestricted free agent this July after spending three-plus seasons with the Dallas Stars and the better part of seven seasons wth the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Finishing the 2010-11 season with 224 goals (16th in the league), the Rangers were looking for someone to help boost their firepower this season. The 10-year NHL veteran should be able to fill that void as he's recorded 91 and 77 point seasons in the last two years, respectively.

Richards leads the Rangers with two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in the first two games and has a +1 rating.
Heading into the Islanders final game of a four-game homestand to start the 2011-12 season, the energy and anticipation inside the locker room is high, but for Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano, keeping a level head is important.

"To me, it's another game that we have to play," Capuano said. "It's a divisional game, a divisional opponent. I know it's hyped up with the fans and the media, but for us, we have to continue to do the things it takes to be successful. For us, it starts with a period and a shift."

Rivalry games are always exciting. However, Saturday night's game marks the Rangers' return to North America after starting the season in Stockholm, Sweden and with seven days between their second and third games, the Rangers have had time to prepare.

"I think their coaching staff has probably done a pretty good job this week making sure that they're sharp," Capuano said. "I'm sure we would do the same thing. I expect them to be sharp, well rested. They've had some time to prepare and they've seen us play a couple games this week... I think they'll come out hard and we're going to have to come out just as hard."

If the Islanders can build off of their 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night, they'll be off to a good start.

"It was the first time all season we got 30-plus shots on net," Capuano said. "We were moving our feet. We were in constant motion. We skated and we haven't done that for 60 minutes. So hopefully they realize what it takes to win games. Just because we had that (4-1) lead after the first period... you have to continue to play because there is no safe lead in the National Hockey League."
Season Series: First of six meetings. Last year, the Rangers won four of six matchups, with the Islanders taking the first and final meetings of the season.

Team Scope:
Rangers: After taking a spin through Europe that put the Griswolds to shame, the Rangers received a much-needed week off. They came away with two points in their two NHL Premiere games, losing in overtime to the Kings and in a shootout to the Ducks.

A trip to Long Island is as close as the Rangers will come to a home game until Oct. 27 due to renovations at Madison Square Garden. But the time on the road is something the Rangers said will be good for them.

"That's one thing I think we can take out of this," captain Ryan Callahan told "We've been with each other 24/7 the past two weeks, so we've definitely bonded as a team. We got to know the new guys better and they definitely got to know the rest of the guys on the team better. We can take that out of it, and that's good for the experience."

Islanders: After dropping their opener to the Panthers 2-0, the Islanders have played extremely well. They beat the Wild 2-1 and smoked the Lightning 5-1 on Thursday night. A win against the Rangers would give the Islanders their best four-game start since they went 3-1-0 to open 2007-08.

Al Montoya made 36 saves and has started all three games this season. It will be tough to bench him after Thursday's performance that saw the Islanders' top line have a break-out game as well.
(Continue Reading)
- Milan Jurcina - Groin (9/27 at CGY) - 3 games missed (Day-to-day)
- Mark Katic - Shoulder (9/24 vs. NJ) - 3 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Rhett Rakhshani - Concussion (9/27 at CGY) - 3 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Trevor Gillies - Groin (9/30 at NJ) - 3 games missed (Day-to-day)
- Nino Niederreiter - Groin (9/30 at NJ) - 3 games missed (Day-to-day)
Power Play %: 10%
Penalty Kill %: 93.3%
Home Record: 2-1-0
Goals For: 7
Goals Against: 4
Power Play %: 0%
Penalty Kill %: 90.9%
Away Record: 0-0-2
Goals For: 3
Goals Against: 5
Tonight's matchup is the Islanders' and Rangers' first meeting since March  31, 2011. As the Islanders defeated their cross-town rivals 6-2, there were six different goal scorers and 12 players who walked away with points. PA Parenteau, John Tavares and Travis Hamonic were all a +4 on the night, while call-up defenseman Dylan Reese had three assists.

(Answer from 10/13: On October 5, 2005, defenseman
Chris Campoli scored the Islanders first goal of the season at
even strength. The Islanders would be defeated
by the Buffalo Sabres 6-4.)
Check out the Islanders depth chart. Evgeni Nabokov gets the start in net; Al Montoya backs him up. The rest of the lineup will remain the same.

Rangers (Expected) Lineups

Del Zotto-Erixon

Lundqvist, Biron

Before signing with the Islanders, PA Parenteau spent three years in the Rangers organization and played all but 22 games with the Hartford Wolfpack. So going into these rivalry games is something he enjoys.

Parenteau said: "Last year, every time I played against them, I had a little chip on my shoulder. Hopefully I'm going to have that (Saturday) night as well. Now that I'm on this side of the rivalry, I don't really like them... It's always a good game. It's always exciting. It's not very hard to get up for that kind of game against the Rangers. I know the guys in this locker room talked about it all day (Friday) and we're looking forward to the game."

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