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Rangers expect different environment vs. Islanders

by Dan Rosen

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers aren't banking on experience being a big advantage in their second game at Yankee Stadium.

"It's going to be completely different," forward Chris Kreider said. "I think it's going to be an independent entity. You can take stuff from the game you just played in but that can change just like that. It's about how you adjust."

Kreider said the key for the Rangers heading into their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the New York Islanders on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) is to expect the unexpected.

It's hard to argue with that approach considering how much actually will be different for the Rangers in the Bronx.

For starters the game is in primetime, so the atmosphere, the weather and the sightlines won't be the same as they experienced Sunday when they beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3. They'll be playing under the lights and likely will require an extra layer of clothes under their equipment because of the expected frigid temperature.

"It might be a little colder and that's probably why it'll be an even game," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. "I'm not sure what the weather is going to throw us."

The Rangers' opponent is quite different as well as the Islanders are more explosive and more offensive than the Devils, so that changes things from a preparation standpoint.

The Islanders have won the previous two games this season against the Rangers, each by 5-3 margins.

"I think their skill is really high," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said of the Islanders. "If you make mistakes they're pretty quick to make you pay for them. Especially their top line in their transition game, they're really strong, they can score a lot of goals so you have to respect that."

Lundqvist likely will have to make the biggest adjustment because of the lights at Yankee Stadium.

The view for a goalie in an outdoor game already is drastically different because of the long distance between the glass and the fans; now throw in the fact the lights will be shining in Lundqvist's face. It could pose some issues in seeing the puck but Lundqvist at least has some experience playing at night in a baseball stadium because the lights were on at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

"You have lights coming more at you than compared to when you play inside and you have the lights coming straight down on the ice," Lundqvist said. "That is a little bit different, especially on the high shots because you look up and you get lights in your eyes."

The Rangers chose to practice indoors Tuesday so Lundqvist won't get to test his vision against the lights at Yankee Stadium until warm-ups Wednesday.

"The first couple of minutes when you walk out you try to adjust," he said. "I think in warm-ups you try to get used to the glass, the boards and the lights so hopefully when the game starts you don't think about it."

This won't be a case of same old, same old for the Rangers.

"You don't really know what to expect," captain Ryan Callahan said. "From the first, second to third period the conditions change so I think we're in the same boat as them. You have to get used to the conditions and the atmosphere."


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