Series (Game 5 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Wednesday, October 28th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 16th
Game 3: Thursday, December 17th
Game 4: Saturday, December 26th
Game 5: Wednesday, March 24th
Game 6: Tuesday, March 30th

Islanders 0

(29-34-10, 68 pts)

Rangers 5

(32-32-9, 73 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 24, 2010

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 3 T
NYI 0 0 00
NYR 3 0 25

M. Gaborik (Rangers - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

S. Avery (Rangers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

H. Lundqvist (Rangers - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: 1.000

Islanders-Rangers Preview


A poor record at Madison Square Garden could be what eventually keeps the New York Rangers from reaching the playoffs for the first time in six years. They may be glad not to have too many games remaining on home ice.

Ahead of their longest road trip of the season, the Rangers will try to win for just the second time in six games at MSG on Wednesday night when they face the New York Islanders, who are also fading in the playoff chase.

The Rangers (31-32-9) own the worst home record in the Eastern Conference at 15-17-6 -- a big reason why they're tied with Florida for 10th in the conference and seven points behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff position with 10 regular-season games left.

Of those contests, only three will be played at home. The Rangers will open a six-game road trip at New Jersey on Thursday.

On top of their poor play at MSG, the Rangers' power play also is sputtering, converting 1 of 16 chances during their three-game losing streak. They went 0 for 6 with the man advantage Sunday in a 2-1 road loss to the Bruins.

"Our power play is so important," left wing Vinny Prospal told the Rangers' official Web site. "I mean, special teams win games. We haven't been getting the power play goals we have needed recently. That has to change."

Marian Gaborik has been the Rangers' best player this season, and they need him to rediscover his scoring touch.

Gaborik is tied for third in the league with 14 man-advantage goals, but has only two in 34 games since a 5-2 win over the Islanders on Dec. 17.

He leads the club with 37 goals and 76 points, but has only two goals and five assists in eight games after the Olympic break. Gaborik also has been held without a point in five of those contests, and in two matchups at home with the Islanders in 2009-10.

The Rangers' Ryan Callahan may not be available after leaving in the second period Sunday with an injured right leg. Callahan is second to Gaborik with 19 goals and nine on the power play.

"If there is a way for me to be out there then I am going to be out there," said Callahan, who has two goals and three assists in the last two games against the Islanders. "I want to help this team and do everything I can to help us move on here and get some wins."

The Rangers have dropped three of four to their longtime division rivals, falling 3-2 in overtime in the most recent matchup on Dec. 26 at MSG.

The Islanders (29-33-10) haven't been to the postseason since 2007, and trailing the Bruins by 10 points with 10 to play might be too much to overcome.

Looking to break even in the finale of a four-game swing, the Islanders also will try to win for just the second time in 12 road games after losing 1-0 to Los Angeles on Saturday.

"We had some glorious opportunities, but they got the best of us," forward Matt Moulson said.

John Tavares will try to help the Islanders rebound. The top overall pick in last season's draft was named the league's second star of week Monday after totaling three goals and four assists in the first two games of the road trip.

Tavares' only goal in four games against the Rangers came in a 3-1 victory at MSG on Oct. 28.