After a wild win against the Buffalo Sabers Sunday night, the Rangers are on Long Island to take on their other rivals in the state tonight. Matt Martin, Ross Johnston and the rest of the New York Islanders will welcome Gerard Gallant’s team to the UBS Arena for the first time in this great rivalry. The Islanders opened the season with a disgusting long road trip of 13 games, with the team going a mediocre 5-6-2, but Barry Trotz’s team has lost their first two games in their new stable since returning home. Overall, the Islanders have lost six games in a row and have been surpassed 27-6 over that series.
While the Tom Wilson incident has been highlighted as the breaking point that led to New York’s front office shaking up, their performance against the Islanders down the stretch last season may have been more urgent. The Islanders won the last three games of the season series in April and May by a 13-1 margin, dominating the Blueshirts in all facets of the game. With a difference of 11 points between the teams, the Rangers could have made the playoffs over the Islanders if they had dominated the Islanders in such a way. Alas, they did not, and now the team plays Barclay Goodrow in the top six and Ryan Reaves on a nightly basis.
After a line-up shakeup saw Hunt move up to the top line in the final game, the Rangers dominated the final frame against Buffalo and pulled a regulatory win at the last second. Keep an eye on Hunt tonight as he seems to be making the most of what could be increased ice age for him going forward.
Enjoy the game!