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

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.