The NHL has made March 17 a holiday in more ways than one, as the Islanders and Rangers will do battle at MSG.
New York hockey fans will be more than happy to add a little blue to their St. Patrick’s Day proceedings.
The National Hockey League announced on Tuesday that Nov. 28’s postponed game between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers will now be staged on Mar. 17 at Madison Square Garden. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET with coverage likely carried on the networks of MSG.
That postponed weekend matchup was one of two Islander games delayed by a COVID-19 induced pause, the other being a Nov. 30 visit to Philadelphia. The latter contest against the Flyers has yet to be rescheduled.
Despite its move, the Mar. 17 contest still be the second iteration of this season’s in-state hockey rivalry and the first at MSG. Two further matchups are scheduled for April. The Rangers took away the first meeting on Nov. 24 by a 4-1 final at the first get-together at the Islanders’ new Belmont-based home of UBS Arena. En route to their second consecutive NHL semifinal appearance, the Islanders won six of the eight meetings placed on last year’s division rival-heavy schedule, which included a 3-1-0 mark in Manhattan.
News of the shift came shortly before each team earned big wins in Tuesday night action. The Rangers (17-4-3)Â stretched their winning streak to seven with a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks while the Islanders (6-10-5) stopped an 11-game winless skid in Ottawa, topping the Senators 5-3. A return to UBS Arena awaits the Islanders on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET, MSG+) while the Blueshirts immediately return to action on Wednesday at home against Colorado (7 p.m. ET, MSG 2/NHL Network).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags