The New York Islanders and New York Rangers are facing off against each other for the first time this season. Ideally, Anthony Beauvillier has the same type of game from the first time these two rivals met in 2018-19.
It's January. Half of the NHL season has already gone by and the New York Islanders and New York Rangers have yet to face off this season. It's an odd quirk in the schedule that's about to get even quirkier.
After this tilt at MSG, the Rangers and Islanders will play twice more over the course of the next eight days. By the end, the heated rivalry should reach a fever pitch.
For tonight's game, the hope is that Anthony Beauvillier can reproduce a similar type of game when these two rivals met for the first time in 2018-19.
On November 15, 2018 (game number 16), the Isles and Rangers squared off for the first time in the season. By then, Anthony Beauvillier had just a single point through the Isles opening 16 games. But against the Rangers, he exploded to life.
Beau posted a hat-trick and a helper for a four-point night. Over the next 15 games, Beau would score another eight points for 12 in a 16 game stretch. Now, in 2019-20, Beau is having somewhat of a different season.
Over his first 32 games of this year, Beauvillier has been lights-out with ten goals and 12 assists. But over the last eleven games, Beau has a single point, an assist in a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals.
Beauvillier needs to get back on track, and what better way to do that then burying the Rangers with a dominant performance?
Tale of the Tape
The Islanders have a better record by some distance, but the Rangers aren't any slouch. Offensively the Rangers are a better unit than the Islanders (to the surprise of no one).
The opening line for tonight's game has the Rangers at +110, a slight underdog for tonight's game. The Isles, the better team, are a -130 tonight even though they are the road team.