Instate Rivals Meet
New York, NY - The New York Islanders have struggled to win games this season, but that's not been the case when playing at Madison Square Garden.
After snapping a six-game losing streak, the Islanders look for a third straight victory over the rival New York Rangers at the Manhattan arena on Tuesday night.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Rangers -278 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 86% of bets for this game have been placed on Rangers –278 (View NHL Bet Percentages).
The Islanders (3-7-1) won 4-3 in overtime at home over Columbus on Monday for its first victory since a 4-3 overtime win at Tampa Bay on Oct. 16.
"We're gaining experience as we go along,'' Islanders forward Bill Guerin said. "(Monday) was a good sign because we got two points.''
Now, they'll make the 30-mile trip to face the Rangers for the second time in nine days. The Rangers won 4-2 on Long Island on Oct. 27 in the teams first meeting of the season to improve to 4-0-2 overall since last losing to the Islanders in regulation last November. The Islanders, though, are 7-1-1 at MSG since losing six of seven there and have won their last two via shootout.
Off to their best start in franchise history, the Rangers (10-3-1), though, have an NHL-leading 21 points and had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss at Toronto on Saturday. They'll try to bounce back in this contest after allowing five unanswered goals in the third period.
"The trolley came off the tracks with the silly passes and the turnovers in the neutral zone,'' Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "We started turning the puck over, and allowed the Leafs to get back in the game.''
Henrik Lundqvist was not in goal for the Rangers in their most recent contest as Stephen Valiquette suffered his first loss in three starts. Lundqvist, who is 8-2-1 and among the league leaders with a 1.99 goals-against average, is likely to be back in net looking for his fifth consecutive victory overall. He made 28 saves against the Islanders last week to improve to 10-5-4 with a 2.03 GAA versus them.
Chris Drury scored his first two goals of the season in that Oct. 27 contest, while Scott Gomez added a goal and an assist for the Rangers. Drury has 12 goals and 27 points in 29 games versus the Islanders. Gomez, meanwhile, has three goals and three assists in his last six contests against them.
Defenseman Chris Campoli scored his first two goals of the season for the Islanders on Monday night, including the overtime winner as New York overcame blowing a 3-0 lead. Richard Park had a goal with an assist, while Mike Comrie and Trent Hunter each added two assists.
Park had two assists and Comrie one in the last meeting with the Rangers. Comrie has an assist in each of his last three games overall, while Park has a goal and three assists in his last two versus the Rangers.
New York's Joey MacDonald made 31 saves Monday to improve 3-4-1 while replacing the injured Rick DiPietro. MacDonald could be back in goal trying to improve on his 0-1-1 record with a 3.87 GAA versus the Rangers.
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Posted: 11/04/08 1:25 AM