After clinching their third playoff birth in the past four years, and with three games left to play, the New York Islanders matchup with the crosstown rival New York Rangers.
The Isles v. The Blueshirts: Edition No. 4
The Isles chance of closing the series out look very good. In three previous matches this season, they’ve handled the Rangers fairly well, to say the least.
They won each game 2-1, 3-1, and then 6-4 in an wild back and forth game, full of offense, excitement, and tons of physicality. Just how it should be.
Simply put, this is a crucial final matchup between the two squads.
With another win by the Islanders, they’ll take an enormous step toward the ultimate New York goal of sending the Rangers down to a measly wild card spot.
Not to mention, a win would bring the first-ever sweep of the season series for the Isles.
Both teams are still in the thick of the playoff race and are able to catch the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2-seed in the Metropolitan Division, meaning home-ice advantage in the first round.
Although, that scenario is heavily unlikely, with the Penguins magic number reaching just two for them to lock up the spot.
Thus, Thursday’s subway series is really a battle for the third seed, and a whole lot of momentum heading into the playoffs.