Rangers Invade The Island Thursday

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


Rangers-Roman Hamrlik: Should he arrive in time to play, and head coach John Tortorella chooses to insert him into the lineup as expected, Hamrlik will make his Rangers debut Thursday after being claimed off waivers from the Capitals on Wednesday. No other current player in the NHL has appeared in more games than Hamrlik, who has played in 1,383 games over 20 seasons. However he appeared in only four matches this season with Washington and has not played since February 7th. Hamrlik was still playing very effective minutes for the Caps last spring in the playoffs---he was a +8 through 14 postseason games---and the Rangers will be counting on him to shoulder some of the load created by Marc Staal's injury absence from the lineup. It'll be a quick trip down memory lane for Hamrlik, who'd be facing one of his six former teams in the Islanders on Thursday, and then after a tilt with Ottawa Friday, would face his most recent team, the Capitals, Sunday afternoon in the nation's capital.


Islanders-Evgeni Nabokov: With the continued implosion of Rick DiPietro and his subsequent assignment to the minors, Nabokov is on the only proven NHL netminder the Isles have, and he has been the workhorse on Long Island this season. The 37 year-old Nabokov is expected to appear in his 20th game Thursday. He has posted a 10-7-2 record---the only Isles goalie to backstop a victory this season. Though his numbers are not eye-catching---a 2.97 goals against average and a .902 save percentage---many nights this season Nabokov has stood on his head just to keep the Islanders in games. In fact the 579 shots he has faced in 2013 are the second most of any goaltender in the National Hockey League. In two starts against the Rangers this year Nabokov has surrendered six goals in 125 minutes of action---a shootout win and a regulation defeat.