The New York Rangers thoroughly enjoyed their first visit to the new home of the New York Islanders Wednesday night.
Lately the Rangers are experiencing many things to enjoy while the Islanders are experiencing a nightmare on the ice and with their roster.
Sunday night, the Rangers go for their fourth straight win and sixth straight win at home when they host the short-handed Islanders, who will be trying to arrest an eight-game losing streak.
Chris Kreider and Kevin Rooney scored two goals apiece Wednesday in the Rangers' 4-1 win in Elmont, N.Y. -- right over the Nassau County line.
The Rangers followed up Friday afternoon by weathering a first period in Boston when they were outshot 17-3 by the Bruins before rallying to score three times in the third period for a 5-2 victory.
The resilient Rangers are 7-1 since ending a four-game road trip with a 6-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Nov. 6.
They have scored 30 goals during their eight-game run, and their 29 points through 20 games under coach Gerard Gallant are the most for a first-year New York coach since Phil Esposito had 30 points in his first 20 games in 1986-87.
"I would say it's a good feeling," Rangers center Ryan Strome said. "But I also think that it's a group that's not satisfied. I think we're starting to feel like a winning team. I think we've got a different feel to our team."
Several Rangers enter the game on productive runs.
Strome collected a goal and an assist Friday, giving him two goals and 10 points during an eight-game points streak. Artemi Panarin also scored and had an assist and has three goals and seven assists in the same span.
Chris Kreider did not get a point against the Bruins but has seven goals in his past eight games, including four of his nine power-play tallies.
Coming off two runs to the conference finals, the Islanders were projected to be among the East's top teams coinciding with the opening of their new building. But after opening the season with 13 consecutive games on the road, they dropped their first four home games in the new digs.
In their current eight-game losing streak, they have been outscored 32-7.
The streak continued Friday night with a 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and marked the first time the Islanders lost by fewer than three goals. Despite 29 saves by Ilya Sorokin keeping them in the game, it was the third time they have been shut out during the losing streak and marked the sixth time they have mustered fewer than 30 shots on goal.
New York has played without seven players because of COVID-19 protocols, including Anders Lee and Josh Bailey and are missing top scorer Brock Nelson and top defenseman Ryan Pulock, who are out several weeks with lower body injuries.
"It's not ideal for sure, but we have to find a way as a group and it's not coming easy," Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier said. "We have to find it in our locker room. Nobody is going to take it easy on us or anything. It is what it is at this point and we just have to fight through it and keep grinding."
--Field Level Media