Are the Islanders finally better than the Rangers? It has taken years to ask that question and not be mocked for sheer insanity or stupidity. With the resurgence of the Isles’ play and unexpected rise up the Eastern Conference standings, fans of the Islanders would answer with a resounding yes.
Supporters of the contrary would argue the results of the 2013 season series between the heated rivals. The Rangers bested the Islanders 3 out of 4 times. Aside from the first meeting of February 7th, where the lifeless Isles were drubbed 4-1 at MSG, each game has been close.
The games were so close that, in reality each contest could have went to either side. Who could forget Saturday’s epic battle that saw the Isles fall in overtime? Fans of the orange and blue wanted to blame the referees but after the loss settled, it became evident that they just had a better goaltender. Henrik Lundqvist, when on, is the best goalie in the NHL.
The Flyers routed the Canadiens on Monday, 7-3. Now they host the Rangers on the next day following a long flight from Montreal. Will they ride off the huge win or will they be too exhausted after a big win?
It was milestone night in Philadelphia, but unfortunately for them, the milestones all belonged to the Rangers.
On a night where three Rangers reached impressive plateaus, the Flyers hit rock bottom. They dropped an embarrassing loss to the Rangers, losing 5-2 to knock them down to 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
The win for New York was the 400th career win for their head coach, John Tortorella.
Derek Stepan had a tremendous game for the Rangers, putting up a dominating four-point night.
(Pictured: Rich Nash is defended by Ruslan Fedotenko. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Flyers are stuck somewhere between last place and a playoff spot. The next five games, all home, will be the final telling on whether or not this is a playoff team, or a team destined to draft high.
For the New York Islanders, home hasn't been very sweet, but somebody has been adding some sugar. The Isles, in the midst of a seven game home stand, have points in their last three games, all of which have been on home ice. Even better, they have fought through some adversity to earn these points.
One of the many highlights from Thursday's thrilling 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers was a penalty kill in the third period.
No, you didn't read that wrong. The Flyers killing of a 5-on-3 power play that included a four-minute double minor for high sticking and a two-minute penalty for hooking turned out to be the ultimate seal of Philadelphia's first victory of the 2013 season.
(Photo: Max Talbot and Rick Nash fight for the puck. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)