For what will presumably be the final time, the New York Islanders will host the crosstown rival Rangers at Nassau Coliseum tonight. The Metropolitan division has left little elbow room for the first-place Islanders, who currently cling to a three-point lead atop the division. With four games in-hand, the Rangers will hope to capitalize in their last regular season visit to Uniondale, and ticket prices won’t be cheap on the secondary market.
The average price for Islanders vs Rangers tickets on TicketIQ is now $233.33. Fans will have to cough up big money just to get past the turnstile, too, as the cheapest ticket to tonight’s game is listed at $104. Only two other home games on the Islanders schedule have seen a higher ticket average this season –the team’s final regular season home game against the Blue Jackets on April 11 ($267.10) and a January 27 game against the Rangers ($277.63).
It’s been a battle to don the divisional championship banner for both teams, who have managed to weather the storm in lieu of several key injuries since the All-Star Break. The New York Rangers have been without Henrik Lundqvist since early February after the acclaimed puck blocker suffered a vascular injury to his throat in a January 31game against the Hurricanes. The Isles have seen a slew of injuries impede their success on the ice as well, the biggest being first-line winger Kyle Okposo’s retinal reconstruction surgery in late-January. While Lundqvist’s timetable remains unclear, Okposo is set to make his long-awaited return tonight, and it comes at a pivotal time.
Tonight’s game marks the fifth and final time the teams will play in the regular season. The Islanders took the first three games of the season series in rather comfortable fashion, posting three-goal wins in each. The Rangers beat the Islanders in their last visit to Nassau on February 16, putting up six goals against the Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak. They’ll hope to thin the divisional lead when puck drops at 7pm EST.