The New York Rangers and New York Islanders will meet at MSG tonight in what’s expected to be a hard-hitting battle for the Metro basement.
The two teams that actually play in the City of New York—the Islanders and Rangers—are both struggling to stay afloat in the NHL standings.
The Rangers are 1-5-1 (1-3-1) at home and in eighth place in the Metropolitan Division, off to one of the worst starts in franchise history. Things aren’t much better for the Islanders (2-3-1), who sit tied with Carolina for seventh in the division.
Not much better are their opponents tonight, the New York Islanders who currently sit in 7th place in the Metropolitan Division at 2-3-1, with an 0-2 record away from the Barclays Center. A lack of offense is what’s killing both teams early in the season.
- Rangers: 2.43 goals per game (25th in NHL)
- Islanders: 2.50 goals per game (24th in NHL)
If there’s a bright spot for the Rangers, it’s been the powerplay. The same can’t be said for the Islanders.
- Rangers: 24.1 percent PP percentage (11th in NHL)
- Islanders: 0.0 percent PP percentage (T-30th in NHL)
That’s right. The Islanders haven’t scored a single goal with a man advantage this season.
For all their issues, there is no better rivalry in sports than Rangers vs. Islanders. The games are always hard-hitting, and we’re sure to see some pretty passing and highlight goals with a pair of mediocre veterans in net—Henrik Lundqvist (1-3-1) for the Rangers and Jaroslav Halak (1-2-0) for the Isles.
The Rangers are in the midst of a six-game homestand (their longest of the year) which has seen them go 0-4. The Islanders as coming off a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
Tonight’s game, set to begin at 7 p.m. ET, is for early bragging rights early in a long season. The two teams will meet three more times this season: Jan. 13 (at MSG), Feb. 15 (at Barclays), Apr. 5 (at Barclays).