The New York Rangers are just a week away from their much anticipated 2012 Winter Classic match up against Atlantic Division rival the Philadelphia Flyers, but before the Blueshirts play under the national spotlight they will need to host East River rival, the New York Islanders, Monday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. on MSG).
The Rangers (21-8-4) enter the contest winners of four straight, including a 4-2 victory Friday against the Flyers that helped New York capture first place in the Atlantic Division standings. The Rangers are also just one point behind the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference's No. 1 spot.
Right winger Marian Gaborik has been the key to the Rangers' current success, as he's tallied a six goals in four games. Currently, Gaborik leads the league with 21 goals, including one against the Islanders Thursday in a 4-2 victory.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are trying to crawl out of the basement of the Atlantic Division standings, but their inability to score any goals is preventing them from moving up the ladder. In their last eight games, the Islanders have failed to score three or more goals which has led to a 2-5-1 record.