50,027 turned up at even colder Yankee Stadium, as they watched the Rangers and Islanders face off for the fourth time this season. The stage was set, Pierre, Doc and Eddie O were there guiding you through the night at home, and once again I was there to take it all in.

This time knowing what to expect, and being able to maneuver myself around some tight spots made it easy for me. My seats were okay and the view wasn’t the best. At Sunday’s game, I was right up in the 300s (wind chill made me glad I wasn’t there tonight!), but where we were sitting it was hard to see certain plays develop and made it extra hard to figure out if a player was offsides or not. You know, the normal stuff I try to figure out and yell at if a referee misses it.

The first period was a huge feeling out processes for both teams, which surprised me in the case of the Rangers. It just felt like it was never going to end, as both teams would do the occasional dump and change, get a few good shots in and work their way back and repeat. Two penalties were called, both against the Rangers. They were successfully killed by the Rangers 10th ranked PK unit.

The second period was better than the first. Both teams, done with feeling one another out, just went and played their game. Notably with the Rangers, they were trying to do to much and push the play like they did against the Devils. The Islanders wanted no part of that and handled themselves just fine. Brock Nelson started the scoring and made it 1-0 late in the second. Yet with less than 50 seconds left, Benoit Pouliot knotted the game up at 1. This was a huge goal and reminiscent of the Staal goal at the end of the first period versus NJ.

The third started with the Rangers coming out flying and dominating play. The Blueshirts pressured the Islanders in their zone and it paid off. Daniel Carcillo following up on Dominic Moore’s move to the net snapped one past Nabokov, and gave the Rangers the 2-1 lead. Lundqvist had another stellar outdoor performance leading the Rangers to victory and a Stadium Series sweep.

The crowd in this game was much livelier. Ranger fans were fully in attendance for this game, and it didn’t go unnoticed. “POTVIN SUCKS” rained down in the bitter cold. Regardless of the NHL’s official position, this was a Rangers home game.

As for the league, this was a huge success and I’m sure they couldn’t ask for anything more. My experience around the Stadium Series will be up sometime this weekend, so don’t miss that.

The Rangers next game is against a familiar foe as they face-off Friday against the Islanders. The only difference this time is its back indoors at Madison Square Garden, where they start a three game home stand.

By: Shawn Taggart

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