New York Rangers (28-23-3) at New York Islanders (21-26-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 29, 2014, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders +124 / New York Rangers -136 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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Things didn't quite get off to the start that the New York Rangers were hoping for on Sunday afternoon in their first of two games played outdoors at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. After a slight delay due to sun glare on the ice the two teams took the ice but it was the New Jersey Devils that seemed more prepared. Henrik Lundqvist struggled, allowing three goals in the opening 20 minutes, but he was bailed out by Dominic Moore and Marc Staal scoring to keep the Rangers in the game. In the second period is when the Rangers took over with Mats Zuccarello scoring back-to-back goals to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead, then Carl Hagelin adding a goal shortly after and Rick Nash scoring with under a minute to play in the period. The Rangers chased Devils goaltender Marty Brodeur from the net after allowing six goals through two periods and finished off the game in the third when Derek Stepan was awarded a penalty shot against Cory Schneider. Stepan snapped a wrist shop top corner to finish the scoring and lift the Rangers to a 7-3 win in a game that was of utmost importance in the standings. The Rangers are in second place in the Metropolitan Division but they've also played more games than the teams they're battling with position for so all of these points are important. They blew a two goal lead to the Islanders the last time these two teams met so they're going to want a little bit of revenge when the teams get together in this one. For the Islanders it has been all about how they haven't been able to build on that victory over the Rangers last week. losing three straight since then and giving up a ton of goals during the three game stretch. Finally getting a game on national television against the Pittsburgh Penguins they allowed six goals in a 6-4 loss to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Saturday afternoon they blew a lead with under 30 seconds remaining to the St. Louis Blues and ended up losing 4-3 in a shootout. Monday night the Islanders were playing neck and neck with the Boston Bruins before a late goal in the final minute of the second period snapped a 3-3 tie and lifted the Bruins to an eventual 6-3 win. Kevin Poulin just didn't have it in this one and whatever goalie is in net for the Islanders in this one they'll be hoping that their club doens't give up as many odd man rushes as the Devils did on Sunday. The Rangers seemed to have a 3-on-1 on every other shift during the second period against New Jersey and they capitalized on all of them. Lundqvist wasn't on the top of his game to start but settled in nicely as the game went on. The Islanders always get up for the Rangers and they'd love nothing more than to take another two points from their rivals in a game of this magnitude but it's the Ranges that will be looking for revenge in this one.