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Battle of New York and Battle For Playoff Position In Brooklyn Tonight

We’re very close to a reality where none of the three New York City area teams reach the NHL playoffs.

The New York Rangers and New York Islanders will look to avoid that fate tonight when they square off at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (7:00 PM, MSG).

The Rangers (27-25-5) continue a four road game trek, the second of which was a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. The team played solid hockey for a majority of the night, but three quick Minnesota goals in the early going doomed them, as they were unable to make up an early 3-0 deficit. Both of the scores came on the power play, as John Gilmour tallied the first goal of his NHL career in the first period, before Kevin Hayes scored in the second.

The Islanders (27-25-6) have gone 2-4-2 over their past eight games, the latest defeat being a 4-1 final to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Almost duplicating the Rangers’ showing, the only New York scoring came on the power play, as John Tavares gave the Islanders an early lead in the first period at Barclays. However, a pair of Columbus scores with an extra man on, scored by Olive Bjorkstrand and Pierre-Luc Dubois gave the fellow contending Jackets the lead for good. Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson had the other half of the Columbus scores to create the final.

To reinsert themselves into the playoff picture, the Rangers will have to overcome recent misfortune against the Islanders, beating them only once over the past three seasons. They also have yet to win a game at Barclays Center since the arena became the Islanders’ home in 2015. The last showdown at Madison Square Garden was complete domination for the Islanders, as they took a 7-2 win. Mathew Barzal had five points in the win, tallying two goals and three assists. The last matchup between the two will go down on April 5, also in Brooklyn.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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