Jagr will try to keep an incredible points streak at Nassau Coliseum alive, and the New York Rangers look to halt a season-high five-game losing streak when they meet the Islanders on Tuesday in a key Atlantic Division matchup.
Playing for Pittsburgh on Feb. 25, 1995, Jagr was held off the scoresheet in the Penguins’ 3-1 loss on Long Island. Since then, the five-time Art Ross Trophy winner has at least one point in 22 consecutive games there, posting 18 goals and 45 assists.
In 36 games overall at Nassau Coliseum, Jagr has 25 goals and 64 points. Nine of those goals have come on the power play and six were game-winners.
Over 77 career games versus the Islanders, Jagr has 54 goals, including 11 game-winners, and 128 points—all career highs against any team.
He has two goals and an assist in two games against the Isles this season, but the Rangers (18-15-4) lost both matchups at Madison Square Garden. Since Jan. 15, 2000, the Rangers are 11-2-1 with a tie at the Coliseum.
Jagr now tries to keep the Rangers from self-destructing again.
On Thursday, Kevin Weekes gave up three goals in an 8:07 span of the third period of a 3-2 loss to Florida. Two nights later, the Rangers squandered a three-goal lead in the third period against Tampa Bay and lost 4-3.
“This hurts,” said Jagr, who has two goals and five assists during the five-game skid. “I don’t know what to say. If somebody would have told me before the third period it’s going to happen, I would say ‘You’re crazy.’ But it happened.”
The Rangers were allowing 2.9 goals per game before giving up an average of 5.2 during the skid.
A defeat Tuesday would saddle the team with its longest losing streak since a six-game slide from March 15-25, 2004.
“I’m not going to dress up a pig’s ear, it is what it is. But you know what? We will be better for this,” coach Tom Renney said of his Rangers, who are one point behind first-place New Jersey and one ahead of the third-place Islanders (18-13-3).
Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro, who will try to stop Jagr, also is on an impressive streak as he will go for his third straight shutout at home.
One week after making 37 saves in a 6-0 win over Atlanta, DiPietro stopped 26 shots in a 4-0 victory over Columbus on Saturday.
“We’re happy with the progress we’ve made, but we still have a lot of work to do,” DiPietro said after his third shutout this season.
DiPietro has struggled when facing the Rangers at Nassau Coliseum, going 1-6-0 with a 4.72 goals-against average and giving up 16 goals in his last three home starts against them. However, the last three times he faced the Rangers were all at MSG and DiPietro won them all.
DiPietro made 30 saves and Jason Blake, who leads the Isles with 20 goals, recorded a hat trick in a 4-3 win over the Rangers last Tuesday.