With outdoor games growing more and more popular, the NHL introduced the 2014 Coors Light ‘Stadium Series’. Rivals claim their bragging rights by bringing the game outdoors, exactly like both the Winter Classic and Heritage Classic outdoor games. The Rangers, Devils, and Islanders traveled to the Bronx to play at Yankee Stadium. The Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings played at Dodger Stadium, and the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks will play at Solider Field on the first of March.
The Rangers beat their Hudson River Rivals in an amazing 7-3 victory. It was a slow start for the Rangers as they fell to 3-1 by the end of the first period. Eventually they found the net and kept the goals coming. One of those goals included a penalty shot: Ranger centerman Derek Stepan beat the Devils new addition at goaltender, Cory Schneider. In an opportunity to take the second place seed in the Metropolitan division, the Devils fell short. Still behind Pittsburgh by a heavy 15 points, the Rangers remain in the second place seed.
After an excitingly offensive game against the Devils, the Blueshirts were confident going into the next game verses their biggest rival, the New York Islanders. The “Battle of New York” rivalry between these two teams dates back to the early 1970’s. The self-assured Rangers came out on top again, beating the Islanders 2-1. However, the Islanders deserve some credit. Goaltender Evegeni Nabokov, now 38 years old, made 32 saves in the Islanders loss. It was the first game back for the veteran net minder since sustaining a lower-body injury earlier this month.
The much-needed four points the New York Rangers gained from the series keeps them safely in second place, and sixth in the Eastern Conference with 61 total points.