Wednesday night’s game was important to the Islanders, and not just because it was played at Yankee Stadium in front of more than 50,000 people.

The Islanders, who can ill-afford to lose two points on a nightly basis if they expect to make the playoffs for the second straight season, remained winless in four games (0-3-1) after a 2-1 loss to the Rangers.
“It’s tough to look at the big picture and what a great experience it was because it was a big game for us, we played well, but at the end of the day, we didn’t get the points we needed,” captain John Tavares said.

The loss kept the Islanders at 50 points, seven behind Carolina for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. And there isn’t much time to dwell, as they will play the Rangers again on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s a big game against these guys again. So we want to go there and earn these points back,” Tavares said.

It was also the third game during the losing streak in which the Islanders lost a lead. Brock Nelson put the Islanders on the board with 1:33 left in the second period and 40 seconds later, the lead was gone when Benoit Pouliot beat Evgeni Nabokov.