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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, October 29th (All times Eastern)

NY Rangers (3-7-0) at NY Islanders (4-4-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off their first playoff appearance in six years, the New York Islanders are finally beginning to bear the fruit from their rebuilding effort.

The recent acquisition of Thomas Vanek shows the club no longer sees itself as a work in progress.

Vanek is slated to make his Islanders debut on Tuesday night in a home meeting with the struggling New York Rangers.

Owning just two playoff appearances over the past eight seasons, the Islanders have spent their time building a core through the draft that includes John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey and Andrew MacDonald. They were able to earn the eighth seed in last season's playoffs before falling in the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Isles then began this campaign with raised expectations, making a 4-4-3 start a bit of a disappointment. That led to general manager Garth Snow parting ways with scoring forward Matt Moulson and a pair of draft picks, including a 2014 first-round selection, to get Vanek from Buffalo.

The 29-year-old Vanek has amassed 254 goals and 497 points in 598 games with the Sabres since they selected him fifth overall in the 2003 draft. He owns a pair of 40-goal campaigns, but the Sabres decided to move him as part of their current rebuilding effort, something the forward said he did not want to be a part of.

Now the Austria-born sniper will try to put the Islanders over the top.

"I knew it was going to happen sooner or later with the situation in Buffalo, but obviously when it does happen you're initially shocked," Vanek said of the trade. "But I'm excited to come here to a great young team with an up-tempo style and looking forward to it."

Vanek will join Tavares and Okposo on the top line, with the duo looking to remain hot with their new linemate. Tavares has four goals and nine assists over a 10-game point streak, two shy of his career best.

Tavares has also logged a helper in six straight games, while Okposo has totaled three goals and five assists over a five-game point streak.

Okposo and Frans Nielsen both scored in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Philadelphia, the Islander's sixth in eight games. Nielsen scored in his fourth consecutive game and his seven goals are one more than he scored all of last season.

Kevin Poulin allowed four scores on 31 shots in his second start of the season as the Islanders failed to carry in the momentum secured following a 4-3 win over the Penguins the previous night in which they netted three third- period goals.

"It is tough when you dig yourself a hole. It is tough to come back, especially when you did it the night before. We were not good enough throughout the game," said Tavares.

The Rangers have had very few games in which they have been good enough to win.

Following a season-opening 3-6-0 road trip, the Rangers enjoyed their home opener at the renovated Madison Square Garden on Monday night but saw themselves shut out for the third time this season with a 2-0 setback to the Montreal Canadiens.

After missing a pair of games due to an undisclosed injury, Henrik Lundqvist got the start and made 25 saves in defeat.

"It's fun to play here again," Lundqvist said. "It was a disappointing loss but it was great to be back."

New York had its home opener minus Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin due to injury.

Hagelin, though, could make his season debut tonight. He had 10 goals in 48 games last season and underwent shoulder surgery in late May.

With his recent injury, it is unknown if Lundqvist will start on back-to-back nights. He is 27-11-5 with five shutouts and a 2.07 goals against average in his career versus the Islanders, while backup Cam Talbot has made just two career starts and none versus the Isles.

Evgeni Nabokov is likely to start for the Islanders, having gone 7-7-3 with a 2.48 GAA in 17 career meetings with the Blueshirts.

This is the first of five meetings this year between the New York clubs. The Rangers have won seven of the last nine encounters overall and three of their last four on Long Island.

This will be the only game played between the clubs this season at Nassau Coliseum. The other attributed home game to the Isles in this series will be played at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 29.

10/29 10:51:15 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal02nd Prd 18:00 | Box
Tampa Bay0@theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit01st Prd 3:52 | Box
Boston0@theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-SW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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    Tomorrow at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7th
NOR 0
DUR 1
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
4th
PIT 2
MIL 0
 
4th
WAS 1
STL 1
 
4th
CLE 0
TOR 1
 
3rd
DET 0
ANA 4
 
4th
NYM 0
ATL 1
 
3rd
BOS 0
BAL 4
 
4th
TAM 0
NYY 4
 
3rd
MIA 3
SEA 2
 
1st
TEX 0
CWS 0
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
2nd
TAM 0
MON 0
 
1st
BOS 0
DET 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
7th
NOR 0
DUR 1