A brief look at the upcoming week for all three local hockey teams:
New York Rangers: The Rangers schedule has been tough post All-Star break. It doesn't get any easier this week. Here's a peek at the Rangers next three games. The Rangers are 0-3-1 in their last four games.
The Rangers have three games this week, highlighted by a rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. That comes after the Rangers take on the Detroit Red WIngs tonight and the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday, both on the road.
Obviously the focus will be on the game against the Penguins, but the matchup against Atlanta is even more vital. Those points will be at a premium considering the Thrashers are just four points behind the Rangers in the standings. It's a huge week for the Rangers, let's see how they respond.
New York Islanders: The Islanders will be busy this week, playing four games in six nights. It starts against the Maple Leafs at home on Tuesday. Then the Islanders play three games in four nights, including a divisional matchup against the Penguins on Friday.
Sandwich that between two road games between the Montreal Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres and you have a daunting schedule in place for the Islanders.
New Jersey Devils: The red-hot Devils will play three games in four nights this week. Facing off against the Hurricanes at home on Tuesday before playing back-to-back games against the Maple Leafs on the road and the San Jose Sharks at home.
Believe it or not, the Devils will have a mountain of Ranger fans rooting for them on Tuesday, with the hopes that the Devils can down an opponent fighting with the Rangers for a playoff spot.
Only the Rangers are in playoff contention as of right now. Although the Devils recent surge might make some believers, they still have a long way to go. Still, both the Islanders and the Devils can help their rivals by winning a few games against the Canadiens and the Hurricanes.