Mats Zuccarello

Shootout Winner

The New York Rangers eked out a 3-2 shootout win over the pesky Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night. At this junture of the season it doesn’t matter how, its how many. And a valuable two points in the standings were earned.

Saturday night the Rangers visit the Islanders fresh off a 2-1 road win over the Boston Bruins. The Islanders on a 8-1-1 roll over the last ten games, allowing only 2 goals or less over the last seven games are on a different trajectory than the Rangers. Playing their best hockey in decades, they offer up a formidable opponent.

Its been a long time since a meaningful April hockey game with the Islanders, who are brimming with confidence and starving for a playoff spot. A chunk out of the Rangers and their playoff hunger will take a big step forward. If the Rangers stumble the 8th place playoff battle with Winnipeg will intensify, Jersey will remain in the picture and hopes of finishing 6th or 7th will fade.

Saturdays game with playoff implications and intensity against the no longer hapless, dormant Islanders, is another in a season of Ranger wake up calls. Failing to go all in will result in a certain loss, and a round 1 victory to the Islanders in the long awaited revived rivalry.

Game on!!

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