Series (Game 3 of 6)

New York leads 6-0

Game 1: Thursday, December 4th
Game 2: Thursday, December 18th
Game 3: Saturday, January 10th
Game 4: Tuesday, January 13th
Game 5: Thursday, February 19th
Game 6: Thursday, February 26th

Rangers 3

(17-16-3, 42 pts)

Islanders 2

(20-18-1, 44 pts)

1:00 PM ET, January 10, 2004

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
NYR 3 0 03
NYI 0 2 02

E. Lindros (Rangers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

M. Rucinsky (Rangers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Weinhandl (Islanders - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

NY Rangers (16-16-5-3) at NY Islanders (20-17-3-1) 1:00 pm EST

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Islanders try to move further ahead of the New York Rangers as the Atlantic Division rivals meet for the third time this season.

The Islanders have made two straight playoff appearances and are one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have missed the postseason in six consecutive seasons and are three points behind Tampa Bay.

The Islanders have surged after a 4-2 home loss to the Rangers on December 4 dropped them to 9-13-2. It was their seventh straight loss, but they followed by winning four of their next five contests. That stretch ended with a 4-3 road loss to the Rangers on December 18. The Islanders dropped their next game to Philadelphia, but are 7-2-1 since.

On Thursday, goaltender Rick DiPietro, who hadn't started since December 21, made 21 saves as the Islanders edged the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2. It was DiPietro's first win since December 6 vs. Chicago. Justin Papineau scored two power-play goals from in the third period.

The Rangers have dropped three of four after going 5-2-0-1 in their previous eight contests. Since a season-high four-game unbeaten streak in late November, the Rangers are 7-9-0-1.

The Rangers will be without Greg de Vries on Saturday after the defenseman was injured in Thursday's 3-2 loss at Carolina. De Vries was checked into the boards by Hurricanes defenseman Bob Boughner during the second period and could miss a month with a right knee injury.

Eric Lindros and Alexei Kovalev scored for the Rangers, while Mike Dunham fell to 4-8-2 in his last 14 decisions.

Dunham 4-0-2 against the Islanders since joining the Rangers last season. He was in the nets for both wins this season.

The Islanders are 5-13-2-1 in their last 21 home games vs. the Rangers.