by Patrick Hoffman on 12/22/11 at 11:29 AM ET
It seems to be rivalry week for the New York Rangers as they get set to take on the New York Islanders tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts are coming off an impressive 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. In that game, the team got strong performances from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves), Marian Gaborik (2 goals and 1 assist), Derek Stepan (3 assists), and Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist).
At the other end, the Islanders are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets and are looking to extend their winning streak to two games with a win over the Blueshirts tonight. According the Islanders’ web site, there is a good chance that netminder Evgeni Nabakov will get the start tonight.
For the Rangers, their goal should be to stay the course. The team is currently 19-8-4 and have done a lot of damage to the Islanders at the Garden. In their last four tilts at MSG, the Blueshirts have outscored the Islanders by a 20-5 margin and have also gone 8 for 20 on the power play.
The Rangers are doing everything they can to stay in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference. The club is currently in fourth place with 42 points and is just four points out of the top spot, which is currently owned by the Philadelphia Flyers.
A win tonight would give the Rangers their 20th win of the season and more importantly, two more points as they look to get up to the top. With that said, it will not be easy tonight as the Islanders always play the Rangers’ tough.
For the Rangers, it should be another game, another win, and another two points. To them, that is all that should matter.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.