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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 26th (All times Eastern)

NY Islanders (11-16-6) at NY Rangers (21-8-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Rangers will take aim at a fifth straight win when they resume the Battle of New York with tonight's home game against the rival Islanders.

This marks the second game between the Rangers and Isles at Madison Square Garden in less than a week. The Blueshirts posted a 4-2 win over the visiting Isles last Thursday, giving the Rangers wins in two straight and six of the last eight encounters in this series. The Rangers have also won five straight meetings at MSG.

One day after defeating the Islanders by a 4-2 score, the Rangers disposed of the visiting Philadelphia Flyers by the same count. Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 28 shots to help lift the Blueshirts to the win in what was a preview of this season's Winter Classic. The Rangers will battle the Flyers in the league's annual outdoor game on Jan. 2 at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.

Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan and Ruslan Fedotenko all scored against the Flyers on Friday, giving the Rangers their fourth straight win. Michael Del Zotto and Stu Bickel each had two assists.

"It had that playoff-type atmosphere 30-something games into the season," said Callahan. "You don't see that too much. The crowd was into it, bodies were getting thrown around. We love playing these types of games."

Tonight marks the end of a three-game homestand for the Rangers, who are 10-3-2 as the host this year.

The Islanders, who are tied with Carolina for last place in the East, have lost two straight and six of their last eight games. They were handed a 5-3 loss by the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday after falling behind by a 3-0 score in the first period.

Kyle Okposo, John Tavares and Frans Nielsen scored while P.A. Parenteau chipped in with two assists for the Islanders. Evgeni Nabokov was tagged for four goals on 26 shots in the loss.

"For the first 10 minutes, I thought we played a pretty good game, but for whatever reason, we were a bit flat," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. "After that, we played hard, we finished our checks and started to have some success."

The Islanders are 5-7-3 as the visiting team this season.

12/26 10:55:06 ET


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