No Love Lost As Rangers Host Islanders

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Players To Watch

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Rangers-Derek Stepan: The third-year center began 2013 with three points (all assists) in the first three games, but has managed only three points in the following nine games. However head coach John Tortorella said the other day that he believes Stepan is playing his best hockey in all phases of the game recently. Stepan has looked very comfortable centering Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin during the Rangers three-game winning streak, and his play on the team's top penalty killing unit alongside Ryan Callahan has been exemplary. Stepan scored his second goal of 2013 Tuesday night in Boston, ripping a shot off the rush past Tuukka Rask, soemthing that Tortorella wishes to see more of, claiming that Stepan has not shot the puck nearly enough. Right now Stepan, who is tied for third on the team with six points, has 29 shots on goal through 12 games.

 

Islanders-Lubomir Visnovsky: The talented, yet enigmatic, veteran blueliner finally reported to the Isles after first deciding not to report to the team after the lockout. The reluctant Islander also balked at coming to Long Island after being acquired from Anahaim in a draft-day deal last June, claiming his no-trade rights were being violated. However now that he has reported, the Islanders have greatly improved their depth at the defense position with a player who will further aid their impressive power play and who will play top minutes. Visonovsky was held off the scoresheet, but was a +2 in Saturday's loss to the Sabres, and then added two assists on the power play--but was a -2---in Monday's loss to Carolina, in his first two games as an Islander. Just two years ago the 36 year-old Visnovsky recorded a career-high 68 points, so his addition is a major one to the Isles roster.