After playing well but losing Tuesday night against a heated rival, the New York Rangers will go right back to work Wednesday night when they host another nearby team with which they have a history of bad blood.

The New York Islanders will come to Madison Square Garden desperate for points. They are three points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with both teams having just 10 games remaining. It's been a struggle of late for the Islanders, who have lost four of five after a 15-6-3 stretch breathed life into a nearly dead season.

"It should be a good atmosphere, probably a good game for us to have, too -- to get that emotion going that we'll need to play with the rest of the way here," the Islanders' Andrew Ladd said to Newsday.

Ladd has been the biggest bright spot for the Islanders after he struggled mightily to start the season, his first in New York after he signed a seven-year free agent contract in the offseason. After posting two goals in his first 22 games, he has 17 goals in his past 45 games.

Islanders coach Doug Weight moved Ladd to the top line with John Tavares on Tuesday, according to Newsday, so Ladd will be expected to continue his hot streak in what is perhaps the biggest game of the season for the Islanders.

"I just think Ladder, the last two and a half months has raised his game, obviously with the results he's gotten and just the way he's played," Weight said to Newsday. "At the end of the (nine-game road trip from Feb. 21 to March 11) he looked like a guy who's been on those long ones before and everyone else looked beat."

The Rangers could be the ones looking exhausted Wednesday, as they will be playing for the second straight night after losing a physical game to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday. While the Islanders are looking for any added emotion with their season on the brink, the Rangers could use the shot of energy as they appear stuck in the first wild-card spot with no way to move up or down.

"It's another rivalry game at the end of the season," Rangers left winger J.T. Miller said. "It's easy to get up for. I think we should be ready to go. It's a late start (8 p.m. ET). We should feel good after the third period we put on (against the Devils) and be ready to play. We just want to have a good start."

The Rangers have been the NHL's best road team this season but have had their issues at home, where they are just 19-15-3. They are 0-4-2 in their past six games at MSG with their last home win coming Feb. 19.

In their last home game, a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday, the Rangers had just eight shots midway through the game.

"I think it gets in guys' heads when the streak goes on like this," Rick Nash said to the New York Daily News. "The one thing that always comes to me is when we're simple on the road. We get the forecheck, two guys around the puck, we play direct, play off the goalie's pads. I think at home -- eight shots after half a game, I think we just try to be too cute."

In a league that attempts to manufacture rivalries, a good one with a lot on the line will be on display Wednesday. Just ask Islanders rookie Josh Ho-Sang.

"Isles-Rangers, that's sick," he said to Newsday. "There's a lot of made-up rivalries in the NHL, but this is a real one."

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.