NY Islanders at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Perhaps the Battle of New York will help provide a spark for the city's two hockey teams, who will square off for the first time this season on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The New York Rangers are mired in a four-game losing streak and certainly could use any kind of a jolt when they host the New York Islanders.
Not only are the Rangers buried in last place in the Metropolitan Division, but they are off to their worst seven-game start since the 1959-60 season after dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. "It’s tough to find wins right now,” said defenseman Marc Staal after the Rangers allowed a last-minute tying goal in their loss to the reigning Stanley Cup champions. The Islanders are returning from a three-game California road trip but, aside from getting waxed at Columbus in the season opener, are playing better of late. During their current 1-2-1 stretch, the Islanders' three losses have all come by 3-2 scores - including Sunday's setback at Los Angeles.TV:
7 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus 2 (Islanders), MSG (Rangers)ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (2-3-1):
The Islanders' power play continues to be stuck in the mud, as they are one of two teams without a man-advantage goal while failing on all 20 chances. "The power play’s been letting us down so far,” captain John Tavares told reporters. “Some good things at times, other times we’re not executing and other times we’re not getting good bounces. It’s a combination of a few things." Tavares also is struggling, failing to register a point in five of the team's six games.ABOUT THE RANGERS (1-5-1):
Among the lineup changes made by coach Alain Vigneault while juggling his lines for Tuesday's game was inserting Adam Cracknell, recently claimed off waivers from Dallas, onto the fourth line as center. Cracknell was on a line with Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich, who collected his first goal of the season. Captain Ryan McDonagh was not at Wednesday's practice due to a maintenance day but Vigneault said he expects the defenseman to be in the lineup Thursday.OVERTIME
1. The Islanders are 7-1-0 in the last eight against the Rangers and have won eight of the last 10 at Madison Square Garden.
2. The Rangers have surrendered seven power-play goals during the first seven games.
3. The Islanders have failed to score a power-play goal only once in the season's first seven games - in 1973-74.PREDICTION:
Rangers 4, Islanders 3
Stats and Records