The New York Rangers seem quite at home when it comes to playing at Yankee Stadium.
The team completed a Stadium Series sweep on Wednesday night with 2-1 win over the New York Islanders and improved to 3-0 all time in outdoor games.
After a feeling-out process that lasted for most of the first two periods as the teams adjusted to the weather and ice conditions, the Rangers started to take the game over in the third period and it was Daniel Carcillo's third goal of the season -- and his second since joining the Rangers -- that proved to be the game-winner.
The Islanders had their chances in the second period and carried the play for most of the period but could only manage to get one shot behind Henrik Lundqvist. Those missed opportunities proved to be costly, not only on the scoreboard in this game, but also in the Eastern Conference playoff race as the loss extends their current losing streak to four games and leaves them seven points out of a playoff spot. Sooner rather later they're going to have to start closing that gap, and if they don't start chiseling away at it before the Olympic break they're going to find themselves out of the race when the NHL schedule resumes.
Goals weren't as plentiful as they were on Sunday when the Rangers dismantled the Devils as players seemed to have a much harder time controlling the puck and generating any sort of consistent offensive pressure. Both teams had their moments, but turnovers were plentiful and rolling pucks seemed to derail numerous chances.
We asked you five questions before the game on Wednesday. These are your answers.
1. Can the Islanders hold a team to less than three goals?
They did, which is something that doesn't happen much. They had an assist from the weather and ice conditions, but they held the Rangers to just two goals and no matter the reason, that's a positive development for the Islanders. The only problem is that doesn't do you much good when you only score one.
2. Will Rick Nash score?
He did not. His best chance probably came late in the first period when he attempted to beat an Islanders defender with a spin-o-rama move. He ended up getting the shot on net, but it wasn't good enough to beat Evgeni Nabokov. He finished the game with five shots on goal.
3. Will the Rangers' outdoor experience help them at all?
If it did, it wasn't noticeable. Both teams struggled through the first period, while the Islanders seemed to carry the play in the second period before allowing the Rangers to take over in the third.
4. How will the ice hold up?
There were no major delays for repair work but it was pretty clear that players were having a hard time controlling the puck as it bounced all over the place. There were a couple of situations where players had what looked to be clear scoring chances but couldn't get a quality shot because they couldn't get the puck to settle so they could hit the net.
5. Will John Tavares gain any ground in the scoring race?
The Islanders scored just one goal on Wednesday and Tavares was not a part of it. That's been a rarity in recent games. The goal they did score however did include a pretty sweet pass from Cal Clutterbuck.