New York Islanders (19-24-7) at New York Rangers (27-21-3)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 21, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Rangers -163 / New York Islanders +148 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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After a Martin Luther King day matinee victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday the New York Islanders look to follow that up on Tuesday night when they take on the Rangers. The Islanders needed this bounce back performance on Monday after blowing a third period lead in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. In that game the Islanders held a 4-3 lead with 20 minutes to play before the Flyers scored three times in the third period for the 6-4 win. Monday it was the Islanders turn to rally from a deficit, scoring twice in the third period to tie the game and send it to overtime. John Tavares scored his 23rd goal of the season to tie the game 1-1 in the second period but Philadelphia added two goals for a 3-1 lead heading to the third. The Islanders were absolutely dominant over the final 20 minutes, outshooting the Flyers 17-3 and getting goals from Brock Nelson and Kyle Okposo to tie the game. After a scoreless overtime session it was Frans Nielsen, Tavares, and Okposo scoring in the shootout to lift the Islanders to the win. There's still a lot of ground to be made up in the Metropolitan Division and one of the teams that the Islanders are chasing is the New York Rangers. For the Rangers it has been about maintaining a level of consistency and they've finally started to do that over this recent stretch. Rick Nash has finally awoken from his slumber as well after being named to the Canadian Olympic team and after scoring a goal on Saturday afternoon he followed it up with two more on Sunday night against the Washington Capitals. The Rangers got two first period goals from Nash and another from Derek Stepan and later sealed the game with a shorthanded marker from Ryan Callahan. Henrik Lundqvist continues to get better and better and he picked up another victory in the 4-1 win. If the Rangers can figure out how to chip in some goals five-on-five while keeping their power play operating the way it has this season they are going to be a very tough team to beat come playoff time. Both these teams enter this contest playing good hockey and the Islanders always seem to get up for the Rangers despite their struggles at Madison Square Garden. This is the type of rivalry game where you can throw the records out the window but there should be a few goals scored in this one.