Later tonight, the New York Rangers and Soon-to-be-Kansas-City Islanders will square off at Nassau Coliseum for the first time in the 2011-2012 season.  It has long been a storied and intense rivalry, regardless of where either team is in the standings — a level of intensity that can sometimes cause some bizarre moments to occur.  Let’s go back 5 seasons and take a look at 2 games, both played at the Coliseum, 1 month apart, that became more infamous for reasons beside the final score.

And the rivalry renews...(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

On March 8, 2007, both teams were in the thick of the playoff race, and were in the middle of another tense contest.  With the score tied at 1 in the 3rd period, the Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg lined up Chris Simon for a routine hit along the boards.  In retaliation, Simon got up and cracked Hollweg in the face with his stick.  That earned him a penalty (as well as a suspension) and the Rangers were able to score on that power play to pick up the win.  Hollweg’s comments on the incident: “I kind of lost my hearing for a bit after it happened. I might’ve been out for a second or two. The pain goes away when you get those two points.”

About a month later, the two teams faced off in the Barn again.  This contest featured a different result, as the Isles edged the Rangers in a shootout.  This game was memorable, however, for what happened during a stoppage of play.  After the game, reports leaked of incidents between several Rangers and the Ice Girls (girls on skates who clear the ice during stoppages).  The main one occurred when goalie Henrik Lundqvist refused to move out of the crease while one Ice Girl asked him to, so she could clean up the area.  She then attempted to clean around him, and he swatted her squeegie away with his stick, hitting her in the stomach with the end of the squeegie.  Another anonymous Ranger was then accused of spitting on a different Ice Girl later in the game.  No suspensions or penalties were handed out.

What moments will the 2011-2012 season bring between these two clubs?