Regardless of their records when they battle one another, the New York Rangers and Islanders play relentlessly tough every game. Great moments have developed throughout this rivalry for both teams over the years.
Of all four major sports, nothing can match the intensity that occurs during rivals of the NHL, particularly the New York Rangers-Islanders.
When the Rangers faceoff against the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, the rivalry that started in 1972 will unofficially kick-off the second half of this NHL season. The two teams have created moments that will “last a lifetime,” to quote one of your favorites from the booth.
Let’s take a look at six of these great moments that have occurred when these two teams take the ice against one another:
1. Game 5 of the 1984 Patrick Division Semifinals
The New York Rangers tied the game late in the third period on a goal by Don Maloney. The game was sent into overtime that saw Ken Morrow score on a slapshot beating Rangers goalie Glen Hanlon through the five-hole and sending the Isles to the Patrick Divison Finals.
2. Dan Cloutier vs. Tommy Salo: The Fight, Apr. 4, 1998
With the Rangers trailing the Islanders 3-0 in the third period, the game began to get very chippy. With six minutes reaming, an old fashion scrum broke out. All five players on the ice were involved and for some reason, Islanders goalie Tommy Salo felt he needed to get in the middle of one of the fights.
Here comes Dan Cloutier with fists cocked ready to go.
Go they did as the two goalies went at it as the fans went crazy. Cloutier pummeled Salo to the ice, so bad that eventually, Cloutier challenged the entire Islanders bench.
3. April 1979: Rangers defeat the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Semifinals
The upset of the year occurs as the Rangers beat the New York Islanders in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders finished the season 27 points better than the Rangers in the regular season, but that didn’t stop Rangers goalie John Davidson and his teammates from doing the unthinkable.
The Rangers went on to lose to Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadians.
4. The Isles and Rangers enter Yankee Stadium, January 2014
An incredible scene as the Rangers and Islanders walk through the field of Yankee Stadium and take the ice in the NHL Stadium Series game. The teams battle in sub-freezing temperature as the Rangers defeated the Islanders on a Dan Carcillo goal, 2-1.
5. Mike Bossy Scores against Glen Hanlon in Game 5, 1984
Mike Bossy, with his ever soft hands, steals the puck, skates in and beat Glen Hanlon. The Islanders went on to defeat the Rangers in the series three games to two.
6. Apr. 24, 1994: The Rangers sweep the Islanders en route to winning the Cup
The moment 54 years in the making. Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter eliminate the No 8 seeded Isles in the first round four games to zero. The Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup, forcing Long Islanders to remove the year of 1940 from their vocabulary.
The Rivalry began back in October 1972 when the New York Islanders came into the league as an expansion team. The Rangers have the edge in regular season meetings at 144-139-19. In postseason matchups, the Islanders lead the series 20-19.
The teams will add to those numbers on Saturday. The game will produce some more great moments for now and years to come.
First puck-drop comes your way at 1 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden and can be seen on MSG Networks.