New York-New York: Round I Tonight

Multi-prev_20140725205523 3 of 4 Multi-next_20140725205523
Players To Watch


Rangers-Chris Kreider: The Rangers first-round pick from the 2009 Draft scored his first regular-season NHL goal Tuesday in New Jersey---a top shelf laser off the rush on left wing that beat Martin Brodeur. The goal came in his return to the lineup after a five-game absence due to a chipped bone in his ankle, and also arrived in the fourth game he has played this season. Kreider showed more jump in the near-11 minutes he skated Tuesday night then he had in his previous three games played this season, so it will be interesting if that carries over into tonight's contest and/or if it has anything to do with the ankle's healing. The speedy wing certainly has had is fair share of the Rangers-Devils local rivalry already---having not only faced New Jersey last game, but in last spring's NHL playoffs, too---and now he gets his first taste of Rangers-Islanders tonight. Let's see if the Isles also bring out the best in Kreider like the Devils seem to do.


Islanders-John Tavares: Like Kreider, Tavares was a 2009 first-rounder---in fact Tavares was the first overall selection in that draft. Unlike Kreider, who went on to play the next three years at Boston College, Tavares turned pro immediately and is currently in his fourth NHL season. And he has turned into one of the top young offensive players in the league already, too. Tavares tied for seventh in NHL scoring with 81 points last year, and he already has 11 points in nine games this season, with four multiple-point games to his credit. After being kept off the scoresheet the past two games, the Rangers can expect a hungry Tavares to try and get back on track tonight against the Islanders top rival.