Rangers Vs. Islanders: Keys To The Game

The New York Rangers will face-off against their cross town rivals, in their second meeting this season. The Rangers are riding a six game winning streak heading into this game, and look to continue. On the other hand, the Islanders are 1-6-3 in their last ten games.

Keep Composure: These games can get pretty ugly at times due to the competitiveness, but the Rangers just need to play their game. Joe pointed this out in an earlier article, and it reads true. Last time these two teams met, the Rangers were very undisciplined, and it wound up costing them the game. If the Rangers stick to their game they have been playing the last six games, they will be fine.

Follow after the jump for more and the official New York Rangers pregame notes.

Maintain Islanders Offense: The Islanders are known for coming out strong against the Rangers every time they match up. The defense needs to keep the Islanders in check tonight, more specifically John Tavares. Simple outlets in the defensive end will work wonders. The Rangers need to keep it simple, and make the smart plays, and it will lead to the win.

Forecheck and Powerplay: The forecheck has been in full force the last six games, and there is no reason to change that. Keep the puck down low, and tire out the opposition will almost always work. The power play, while it has improved still needs some work. The Rangers have been getting some movement, a prime example was Dan Girardi's goal against Montreal. I know it sounds repetitive, but the Rangers need to convert when given the opportunity to night, it can win games.

Goaltenders: It seems as if we will have the same match-up as last time between the pipes. Henrik Lundqvist will get the nod for the Rangers, and Evgeni Nabokov will start in net for the Islanders.

NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 7:00 p.m.
Nassau Coliseum - Uniondale, New York
Rangers: 9-3-3 (21 pts)
Islanders: 4-7-3 (11 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Nov. 13

TOMORROW'S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders tomorrow at Nassau Colieseum (7:00 p.m.), as they look to extend their six-game winning streak. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 9-3-3 (21 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow's contest having defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1, on Friday at Madison Square Garden to extend their winning streak to six games. The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in 10 of the last 12 games (9-2-1 over the span), including in each of the last seven (6-0-1). The Islanders enter the contest with a 4-7-3 (11 pts) record to rank 15th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost nine of their last 10 games (1-6-3). Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to tomorrow's contest, the Rangers' morning skate is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Nassau Coliseum, with Head Coach John Tortorella's availability to follow.
* Schedule and availability subject to change

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:00 p.m. - Rangers at Islanders
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. - Rangers at Islanders
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
* All-Time: 112-99-19-5 overall (65-37-11-4 at home; 47-62-8-1 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the second of six meetings this season, and the second of three at Nassau Coliseum. New York is 0-1-0 following a 4-2 loss on Oct. 15 at Long Island.
* Last Season: New York was 4-2-0 overall, including a 1-2-0 mark on the road. The Rangers averaged 4.5 goals per contest, and converted 9-28 on the power play for a 32.1% success rate in the season series. Marian Gaborik led all skaters with six goals and 10 points in six games, while Brandon Dubinsky tallied a team-high six assists in the season series.
* New York ranks 12th with a 4-2-2 (10 pts) record on the road; Long Island is tied for 19th with a 4-3-1 (9 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Islanders are 1-1-1 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 21-11-5 record with a 2.23 GAA and three shutouts in 38 career regular season contests vs. Long Island; Martin Biron is 20-4-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and two shutouts in 26 career regular season games vs. the Islanders
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 19 assists and 29 points in 31 career regular season contests vs. Long Island; Marian Gaborik has tallied a team-high 15 goals (27 points) in 22 games vs. the Islanders
* New York lists two former Islanders on their roster: Martin Biron (2009-10); Ruslan Fedotenko (2007-08)
* Long Island lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Mottau (2000-01 - 2001-02); P.A. Parenteau (2009-10)

SPECIAL TEAMS:
* Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in three power play opportunities (4:20) on Friday at Madison Square Garden, and are 8-40 (20.0%) with the man advantage in the last nine games. New York is tied for 21st overall (9-63, 14.3%) and ranks 25th on the road (3-29, 10.3%). The Rangers are 1-5 (3:44) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/06 vs. WPG), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Hurricanes scoreless in two shorthanded situations (2:27) on Friday at Madison Square Garden, and are 37-41 (90.2%) in the last 12 games and 14-15 (93.3%) during their current six-game winning streak. New York ranks sixth overall (53-60, 88.3%) and ninth on the road (34-39, 87.2%). The Rangers are 2-3 (1:16) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/05 vs. MTL), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/20 at CGY (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:33) on Friday vs. Carolina. The Rangers are plus-three in 24 four-on-four situations (41:42), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).

BACK-TO-BACKS
The Rangers concluded their second of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 3-0 win vs. Winnipeg on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden. New York has posted a record of 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 22-8-3 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 10-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. The Rangers' next back-to-back set begins on Nov. 25 at Washington and concludes on Nov. 26 vs. Philadelphia.

WINNING STREAK
The Rangers enter the contest with a six-game winning streak, dating back to Oct. 31 vs. San Jose. New York has out-scored their opponents, 23-9, and are 14 of 15 (93.3%) on the penalty kill during the streak. The six-game winning streak is the longest for the Rangers since they won seven straight during the 2009-10 season (Oct. 3 – Oct. 17). The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in 10 of the last 12 games (9-2-1 over the span), including in each of the last seven games (6-0-1). The last time New York registered a seven-game point streak was Mar. 12, 2011 to Mar. 26, 2011.

THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a four-game winning streak, and Martin Biron currently owns a three-game winning streak. Lundqvist (11/3 vs. ANA, 11/5 vs. MTL, 11/9 at OTT, 11/11 vs. CAR) has posted a 1.71 GAA and a .941 Sv% over the span, while Biron (10/24 at WPG, 10/31 vs. SJS, 11/6 vs. WPG) has registered a 1.00 GAA, a .961 Sv% and one shutout during the stretch.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers are currently tied for third in the NHL with a 5-1-1 mark at Madison Square Garden, including a 4-1-1 record on their six-game homestand from Oct. 27 to Nov. 6. Marian Gaborik led New York with nine points and six assists during the six-game homestand, while Ryan Callahan notched a team-high four goals during the stretch.  The Rangers’ 5-1-1 start through seven games at Madison Square Garden is their best start at home since they posted a record of 5-1-1-0 through seven home games to begin the 1992-93 season.

JOINING THE RUSH
New York defensemen have accounted for 21.4% of the team's scoring, tied for fifth-best in the league, tallying a combined nine goals through 15 games to begin the season, tying for sixth in the NHL. Ryan McDonagh leads all Blueshirt defensemen and is tied for seventh among NHL blueliners with three goals.

NEW FACES
New York has seen six new faces in their lineup during the 2011-12 season. The Rangers had three players make their Rangers debut in the team's season opener on Oct. 7 against the Kings - Tim Erixon (NHL debut), Brad Richards (one assist) and Mike Rupp. In addition, defenseman Jeff Woywitka made his Rangers debut on Oct. 15 at Long Island, while defenseman Brendan Bell made his Blueshirts debut on Oct. 22 at Edmonton. Forward Andre Deveaux made his Rangers debut on Oct. 31 vs. San Jose, following his recall the day before. Defenseman Anton Stralman is looking to make his Rangers debut after signing with the team on Nov. 5.

COUNTDOWN TO 2,500 WINS
The Rangers are currently seven wins shy of 2,500 wins, having won 2,493 games all-time in franchise history.

THE HOT LIST:
* New York's penalty kill is 37-41 (90.2%) in the last 12 games and 14-15 (93.3%) during their current six-game winning streak
* The Rangers' power play is 8-40 (20.0%) in the last nine games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 11 points (five goals, six assists) and a plus-seven rating in the last eight games
* Derek Stepan has recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) and a plus-eight rating in the last seven games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied six assists and a plus-five rating in the last four games
* Henrik Lundqvist is 3-0-0 with a 1.95 GAA and a .931 Sv% in his last three games
* Dan Girardi has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last nine games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied seven points (five goals, two assists) in the last seven games
* Brad Richards has recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last seven games
* Ryan McDonagh has posted two assists and a plus-eight rating in the last four games

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Ryan Callahan: 1 game from 300th NHL career
* Erik Christensen: 7 assists from 100th NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 9 points from 100th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 6 assists from 300th NHL career; 8 goals from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 8 assists from 100th NHL career
* Derek Stepan: 3 games from 100th NHL career
* Wojtek Wolski: 1 game from 400th NHL career; 9 goals from 100th NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* John Tortorella: 100th win as Rangers Head Coach (11/5 vs. MTL)

INJURIES:
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) - 15
* Mike Rupp (knee, 10/24) - 8
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) - 4
Total Man-Games Lost: 36

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
* Nov. 8 - Acquired forward Francois Bouchard from Washington in exchange for defenseman Tomas Kundratek

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