New York Rangers fans have watched in agony as the Islanders have won three straight games this season. Their luck will end tonight.

By Chris Wengert

Tonight is the night when the New York Rangers will put their foot down.

Enough is enough.

The Islanders have had their fun, and with the playoffs fast approaching it’s time to show everyone who the real New York team is.

And it certainly isn’t the team that plays at the Barclays Center.


You probably know by now that the Rangers will battle without two of their most seasoned veterans in Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi.

While the whole “upper-body” injury description for Girardi certainly doesn’t sound good, the Rangers have two players who will be chomping at the bit to beat down that team from Brooklyn.

Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath, while still green, are more than capable of being serviceable against this Islander team.

Not superstars but serviceable, there is a difference.

The Rangers are battle-tested, resilient, and have persevered throughout this grind that has been the 2015-2016 season.

Oh yeah, and we have Henrik Lundqvist, the undisputed King of New York.

With Kevin Hayes back in the lineup, I fully expect Eric Staal to continue with his productive ways.

The Rangers need to pepper Thomas Greiss with a copious amount of shots tonight. No extra passes, just shoot and crash the net.

The Rangers are most effective with their quick and aggressive two-man fore check, and against a physical Islander team it will be necessary.

Derek Stepan is silencing his critics, as he has emerged as a real first line center.

Chris Kreider has been in beast-mode lately. If any Islanders are in his path when his is in stride, good luck.

Rick Nash has been going to the net, and will have plenty of opportunities if he continues to do so against an often over-zealous Islander defense.

The Rangers’ power play has been surgical the past week and has improved to the league’s 11th best PP unit as a result.

The penalty kill has finally stabilized, as Rick Nash’s long reach and quick side-to-side movement has proved to be invaluable for a previously struggling PK unit.

The Islanders have their own fair share of injuries.

Courtesy of Hockeyreference.com
Courtesy of Hockeyreference.com

Boo hoo.

And then there is the plain fact that I just cannot see the Islanders sweeping the Rangers.

Have I been wrong before? Of course, but I don’t think any regular season broomsticks will be making an appearance tonight.

Enough is enough.

Prediction

The game will be an ugly affair in a playoff-like atmosphere. The Rangers may allow an early Islander goal, because it’s what they do, but the comeback-kids in the Broadway Blue will prevail.

New York Rangers 4, New York Islanders, 2

NEXT: Rangers Look To Avoid Season Sweep By Islanders
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