The rivalry between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders has lost some of its luster in recent years. That may be about to change.
With the surging teams holding down the last two Eastern Conference playoff spots, the Rangers and Islanders close out their season series Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.
The Isles (21-16-4) have been one of the surprises of the league over the past three weeks, going 8-1-1 to move into seventh place. The club, seeking its first playoff appearance since 2006-07, has given up 16 goals during that stretch.
The Islanders won their third in a row Thursday, 2-1 at Boston behind Josh Bailey's two goals and Evgeni Nabokov's 30 saves.
"We just approach every period," coach Jack Capuano said. "Every game is a Game 7-type shift for us. We just have to continue to work. ... We're not looking ahead to anything."
If Nabokov continues to play the way he has, Capuano's team won't have to hope. The 12-year veteran has gone 7-1-1 with a 1.43 goals-against ...