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Open Game Thread: Rangers vs Islanders

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Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

In each team's 81st game of the season, the Rangers and Islanders will square off at Barclays Center for their 4th and final meeting of the 2017-18 season. Both New York teams would have anticipated today's game being one of the season's most critical contests back in October, with visions of jockeying for playoff positioning on their minds. As most would have predicted, today's game is arguably the most important of the season for both teams:

A non-shootout win for the Rangers would guarantee them finishing above the Islanders in the league-wide standings, while all-but assuring the Blueshirts a 22nd place finish in the NHL, and the 10th best odds in the draft lottery. Meanwhile, a non-shootout loss would put the Rangers in the drivers seat for finishing in the bottom 9 of the league, and gaining the significantly better lottery odds that come with it.

With everything that's at stake, all any Rangers fan should ask for is a healthy game that both teams escape without injury. So enjoy the second-to-last game of the Blueshirts' season, and let's go Islanders!!!!!!! do that hockey.