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  • 12 Mar
    导出博客文章NEW YORK -- There is never any shortage of drama when the New York Islanders and
    New York Rangers meet. But the Islanders and Rangers each have far more on their
    minds than local bragging rights as as they prepare for the latest incarnation
    of one of hockeys best rivalries.The Islanders will host the Rangers for the
    first time this season on Tuesday, when the teams are scheduled to meet at
    Barclays Center. The Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Saturday while
    the Islanders fell to the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime on Sunday.Theyre
    always a lot of fun, Islanders center and captain John Tavares said of the games
    against the Rangers. Never any love lost in these games, so easy to get up
    for.While the Rangers (17-8-1) entered Monday atop the Metropolitan Division and
    just two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the top overall seed in the
    Eastern Conference, coach Alain Vigneault expressed concern with his clubs
    recent inconsistent ways after the Rangers scored three third-period goals to
    edge the Hurricanes.Were like all the teams, Vigneault told reporters. We need
    our goaltender to be one of our best players and we need our other best players,
    whether they are Ds or forwards, to play at the level theyre supposed to.The
    Rangers have alternated wins with losses in each of their last seven games and
    are 4-4-1 in their last nine. Despite being in first place, they are just six
    points ahead of the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, who are tied for the
    final wild-card spot in the East.Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist discussed the
    playoff race Saturday when he said he believed it is going to be a tight one
    until the end and theres going to be a lot of teams involved. Its going to come
    down to will -- How badly do you want to win every night? -- because theres so
    many teams that feel they should be in the race.One of those teams is the
    Islanders (9-10-5), who had high expectations this season after reaching the
    second round of the playoffs last spring for the first time since 1993. But they
    entered Monday tied for last in the Eastern Conference with the Buffalo
    Sabres.Havent gotten off to a great start this season and we need the two
    points, Tavares said.The Islanders crawled on to the periphery of the race by
    winning three straight games before Sundays loss. They are six points behind the
    Bruins and Capitals -- an imposing gap, but one that is three points smaller
    than it was just last Monday.I think weve been on the right track the last five
    or six games, Islanders center Anders Lee said.The Rangers will be without
    Michael Grabner, who leads the team with 13 goals. Grabner is attending his
    grandmothers funeral and is expected to return to the team Thursday, when the
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    goalie coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy. NEW YORK -- Blue Jays slugger Josh
    Donaldson and manager John Gibbons brushed off their brief but heated exchange
    in the dugout Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.The fiery Donaldson, last years AL
    MVP, slammed his bat against the railing in frustration as he returned to the
    bench after striking out for the second time against New York pitcher CC
    Sabathia.Gibbons, perched nearby, took exception to the outburst and approached
    Donaldson by the bat rack. The two men -- both wearing sunglasses -- were
    nose-to-nose for a bit before Toronto teammates Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Thole
    intervened.Definitely dont hit me! Gibbons said with a smile after the game. We
    were just discussing the game.Weve got a great relationship. Theres a lot of
    back and forth, the manager added. He wears it on his sleeve; hes an emotional
    guy. Thats part of what makes him good.After the game, Donaldson joked that the
    dustup developed because Gibbons wanted a whiff of his cologne.I was just coming
    back to the dugout and I hit my bat against the thing, Donaldson said. Gibby
    asked me what kind of cologne I was wearing. I said, `Its a new cologne called
    Tom Ford. I just got it. He was like, `Really? So he kind of got pretty close to
    mee and I guess got a good whiff of it.dddddddddddd. I was like, `Hey man, back
    up. So, Ill give you some after the game.Gibbons also said he had suggested to
    Donaldson that he try a different bat.Actually, I told him after the first
    at-bat, get a new bat, that one aint working, the manager said. He took the same
    one up the second time. That didnt work. He chose to break it. So I went down
    and told him, you should have listened to me. That was basically it.Donaldson,
    the designated hitter Wednesday with Darwin Barney subbing for him at third
    base, was removed after six innings of a 7-4 victory. The team said he jammed
    his right thumb during his final at-bat in the sixth, a groundout to second.He
    couldnt hold the bat, Gibbons said.X-rays were negative and the slugger is day
    to day, according to Gibbons, who said Donaldson had a similar injury earlier
    this season and it didnt last long.Donaldson said he hopes to play Friday in
    Cleveland.Its obviously not the first time its happened this year, but it got me
    pretty good and I didnt want to do any further damage, he said. ' ' '