Rangers, Islanders set up for huge weekend showdown

The Rangers and Islanders last met in a hotly contested game on March 7. Credit: Getty Images
The Rangers and Islanders last met in a hotly contested game March 7.
Credit: Getty Images

As the final minutes of the Islanders’ 4-1 win over the Flyers ticked off the clock Tuesday night, the 13,888 at the Nassau Coliseum began chanting “We want playoffs.”

The chant was equal parts plea, demand and request.

Saturday night, against their most hated rival, the Islanders and Rangers will meet at the Coliseum for the fourth and final time in this abbreviated regular season in one of the most anticipated games between the two in recent memory.

“We really haven’t accomplished a whole lot. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity and we just want to take advantage of the opportunity,” Islanders star John Tavares said after the win over the Flyers.

Tavares finished with two points (a goal and an assist) and a plus-1 rating Tuesday night in another statement performance about his Hart Trophy candidacy.

“We have a great opportunity. I think we want to give it to them. That’s what we’re striving for. We’re playing much better and giving ourselves the best possible chance we can. Just keep going the way we are and I like our chances.”

The Islanders have won 7-of-10. The Rangers are 4-1-1 in their last six games.

Due to the NHL’s convoluted formula to determine winners and losers, the Rangers are 2-0-1 against the Islanders this season, while the suburban team is 1-1-1 against the Original 6 franchise.

The Rangers won the last meeting, a 2-1 overtime decision March 7. Since-departed Marian Gaborik scored the overtime winner with a slap shot from the point on the power play which led to Islanders assistant coach Brent Thompson being suspended for two games for “inappropriate and abusive comments he directed at on-ice officials,” according to league statement the following day.

The teams could enter the match in a three-way tie with Ottawa with 44 points. The Rangers are off until Saturday. The Islanders were in Boston on Thursday night while the Senators visited the free-falling Flyers.

“Yeah, a point,” head coach John Tortorella said when asked about the importance of the skills competition point the Rangers earned in the 3-2 shootout win over the Leafs Wednesday night at the Garden. “At this time of year, it’s a huge second point for us, there’s no question. That’s a big, big win for us. To get those two points is really important for us at this time of year.”

Ottawa is the sixth seed due to two fewer regulation and overtime losses. The Senators have a game in hand on both the Rangers and Islanders. The Rangers and Islanders each have eight games remaining this season.

The Islanders are in seventh because of one more regulation and overtime win. Even with the 3-2 shootout win over Toronto Wednesday night, the Rangers are in eighth. But if the Senators and Islanders lose in regulation, the Rangers could enter Saturday night’s match in sixth.

“We need all the points we can get right now so it’s great to see [Henrik Lundqvist] and [Mats Zuccarello] step up in the shootout,” Carl Hagelin said after the win over the Leafs. He and Ryan McDonagh each finished with two points in that match. “Two points [are] what we are looking for every game.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.