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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 / 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

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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