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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 AM 北京时间4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET, October 29, 2013
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York  Attendance: 16,170

Rangers-Islanders Preview

New York Rangers at New York Islanders

  1. The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games against the Islanders and will be looking to extend their current win streak against them to three in a row.
  2. The Islanders have lost three of their last four games and have allowed five goals in each of their last two losses. The Islanders will be looking to snap their current three-game home losing streak.
  3. The Rangers have lost three of their last four games and have been shut out twice in their last four contests. The Rangers have gotten just eight points from their defensemen this season -- the fewest of any team in hockey.
  4. Thomas Vanek will be making his debut for the Islanders after being acquired from the Sabres on Sunday in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first-round pick at the 2014 NHL Draft and a second-round selection in 2015.
  5. Frans Nielsen has scored a goal in four consecutive games, totaling eight points in that span (4g, 4a). Nielsen has failed to record a point in each of his last seven games against the Rangers.
  6. Brad Richards has scored five of New York's 15 goals this season. Richards has two goals and three assists in his last four games against the Islanders.


STATS Writer

(AP) -- Already a top-10 scoring team, the New York Islanders added one of only 15 players to score 20 goals in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

They'll get their first look at new acquisition Thomas Vanek on Tuesday night when they face the rival New York Rangers for the first time this season.

The Islanders acquired Vanek - a two-time 40-goal scorer - from Buffalo on Sunday in exchange for Matt Moulson and two draft picks.

"It's a fresh start for me and hopefully I can help these guys out right away," Vanek told the team's official website. "I'm just happy to be here right now, taking it all in. An opportunity like this doesn't come around much. I'm going to try to make the most of it."

Vanek had four goals and five assists in 13 games with Buffalo, where he spent his first eight-plus seasons. He had 20 goals and 21 assists in 38 games in 2012-13 and scored at least 25 in each of his previous seven seasons.

He scored in his last game with the Sabres Saturday and has a four-game point streak. Vanek, captain John Tavares and Kyle Okposo skated together on the top line in practice Monday, according to the Islanders' official Twitter feed.

The combination of Vanek, Tavares and Okposo could be a very potent one. Tavares has a 10-game point streak after notching an assist in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Philadelphia, and Okposo has three goals and five assists during a five-game run.

"Anytime you trade a top player for a top player, that's where he's got to go," coach Jack Capuano said. "He's very skilled, and he's good with the puck. He shoots the puck really well. He's got good size so, he'll start with Johnny and Kyle and we'll see where that plays out."

While Tavares has produced 13 points in 11 games, it's Frans Nielsen that leads the team with 15. Nielsen, who had a career-best 17 goals in 2011-12, already has seven this season, one in each of the past four contests.

It's at the other end of the rink where the team's problems are.

The Islanders (4-4-3) allowed five goals for the second time in three games Saturday, this time to a team that hadn't scored more than two goals in any game this year.

Another struggling offensive team will be the opponent Tuesday. The Rangers (3-7-0) could certainly use a player of Vanek's caliber right now, having scored a league-low 15 goals.

That lack of offense was an issue again Monday, when New York's long-awaited home opener was spoiled with a 2-0 loss to Montreal.

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves after missing two games with an undisclosed injury.

"It was a disappointing loss, but it was great to be back," said Lundqvist, whose team returned to completely refurbished Madison Square Garden after a season-opening nine-game road trip.

They Rangers are the only team in the league to be shut out three times, and they've scored two goals or fewer in seven of 10 games.

Last season's leading scorer Derek Stepan hasn't scored in 10 games this year, and only two players (Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan) have more than one goal.

The offense, though, could get a lift Tuesday with injured forward Carl Hagelin expected to make his season debut after missing the first 10 games while recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Rangers have dominated this rivalry of late, going 7-0-2 in the series since their last regulation loss Oct. 15, 2011.

Lundqvist is 9-2-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average in his last 11 starts against the Islanders. He stopped 29 shots in a 1-0 overtime win in the last meeting April 13 on Long Island.

Updated October 29, 2013

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