Rangers, Islanders excited for Yankee Stadium game

The Stadium Series game between the Rangers and Islanders presents a new experience, particularly for players who haven't played an outdoor game

Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 11:22 AM ET / News
By Tal Pinchevsky
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Rangers, Islanders excited for Yankee Stadium game
The upcoming Stadium Series game between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium presents a whole new experience, particularly for players without a lot of outdoor experience.

NEW YORK -- Players on the New York Rangers and New York Islanders admit their respective teams are in dire need of points at the moment. Heading into their game Friday at Madison Square Garden, they sit fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Metropolitan Division.

But as they continue their historic rivalry at Madison Square Garden, it's also impossible to ignore the fact that these two teams are less than six weeks away from playing Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium as part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

"It's starting to pick up a little bit," Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh told NHL.com. "It's getting closer. There's a little bit of talk starting to come up. It just seems like every outdoor game seems to get a little bit better. They find a way to kind of create more atmosphere for the fans. I'm expecting big things at Yankee Stadium. The venues putting them on are state-of-the-art buildings and historic buildings. It's pretty exciting."

Like a number of his Rangers teammates, McDonagh last played outdoors at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where New York beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. McDonagh also previously played at Camp Randle Stadium while playing for the University of Wisconsin.

But for players with less experience playing outdoors in front of tens of thousands of people, the upcoming Yankee Stadium game presents a whole new experience.

"I think it's going to be amazing. Growing up, Canadians, we play a lot of outdoor hockey," Islanders forward Matt Martin said. "Rangers-Islanders at Yankee Stadium, which is one of the best-known stadiums in the world, it's going to be a dream come true."

Until the big game in the Bronx, these teams will be focused on climbing the division standings.

"Guys will be excited about that, but at the same time we're looking forward to [Friday's] game," said Chris Kreider, who admits to having played a number of games in "atypical hockey locales."

That includes a pair of matchups at historic Fenway Park in Boston while playing for Boston College, as well as the 2010 NCAA championship game, which was played at Ford Field in Detroit. It was just a few months after capturing that national championship with BC that Kreider played arguably his most surreal stadium game yet. Playing with the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Championship, Kreider played in front of over 76,000 at Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

"I was 18, after my freshman year, after we won the national championship," said Kreider.

The Rangers forward, however, said that while the upcoming Yankee Stadium will be a memorable experience, he'll be worried most about getting the win.

"It's fun, but it's hockey and it's two points," he said.

Author: Tal Pinchevsky | NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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