Tonight the New York Islanders will march into the world’s most famous arena in an attempt to beat the New York Rangers on their home ice. The Islanders are 1-3-0 on the year against the Rangers and are looking to play the role of spoiler tonight. The Rangers currently sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference and the Islanders would love to try to help put them out of it. Unfortunately, they cannot do it all in one night, but this could help them to get a shot to do it on March 5th when they meet again.
My take on the players to look out for this game from the Islanders:
1. Frans Nielsen – He has been making his presence known and keeps getting better and better each game. His ability to control the puck and carry it into the zone could be a key to the Islanders success tonight. He has a great passing ability along with a shot, while not that threatening yet, has been showing promise over the span of the last few games.
2. Kyle Okposo – The young star of the New York Islanders has been on fire lately. Over the course of this season he has 11 goals, 9 assists, for 20 points in 43 games, however, most of this has been recently as the young guys seem to be finding their niche.
3. Sean Bergenheim – Here is a name that many people would overlook, however over the past two or three games he has been much more noticeable. He is crashing the net, generating scoring chances, and working very hard in the corners. I would not be surprised to see something good happen from him tonight.
Although the Islanders have lost three of the four games this season, they have still played well at Madison Square Garden. In the past 11 games there, the Islanders are 8-2-1 for 17 points. The Islanders may be in last place, but there would be no sweeter feeling then being able to take down their rivals with them. These games are always fun to watch and this rivalry overall is probably the closest rivalry in the NHL as the two teams have a record right around .500 against each other.
Tonight’s game should be fun as the Rangers try to rebound and the Islanders try to knock the Rangers one step further from the playoffs. So sit back, relax, and put on your rally cap.