New York Rangers New York Islanders

No two NHL teams play as close to each other as the Rangers and Islanders, with Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center being just five miles apart. The in-state rivalry began before the Islanders even stepped on the ice, as the team was forced to pay a territorial fee to the Rangers upon entering the NHL. At the Garden, fans have a long-standing tradition of yelling "Potvin Sucks!" during every game, citing what they perceived to be a dirty hit by Denis Potvin hit on Ulf Nilsson in 1979.

But wives and girlfriends of the Rangers and Islanders came together for a good cause Monday in the Bronx in advance of the teams' latest clash on the ice Thursday in Brooklyn. Thanks to the efforts of Therese Lundqvist, wife of Rangers goaltender Henrik, the two groups traveled to Food Bank For New York City's Warehouse & Distribution Center, where they repacked meals.


Naturally, the event became a competition. The Islanders team, decked out in black Brooklyn alternate shirts, moved to one side of the room and the Rangers' squad, wearing white Henrik Lundqvist Foundation pocket tees, shifted to the other side.


Team HLF (Rangers's wives/girlfriends) won the charitable challenge, repacking 2,531 pounds, the equivalent of 2,109 meals.


#TeamHLF for the win!!! The @nyrangers wives/gfs packed 2,531 lbs of food which means 2,109 meals for NY'ers in need. #makingsaveswithHLF

A photo posted by Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (@hlundqvistfoundation) on

Combined with Team Islanders, the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation and the New York Islanders Children's Foundation packed 4,655 pounds, or 3,879 meals.


Although the players' wives and girlfriends do not get on the ice, two Team Islanders members did their part trash-talking. Megan Bailey, wife of Josh Bailey, and Sydney Esiason, girlfriend of Matt Martin (and daughter of former NFL Pro Bowler and noted Rangers fan Boomer Esiason), tossed some shade at Team HLF.


For the most part, the vibe in the room was friendly and upbeat.

Here are Bailey and Esiason spilling some truths about their significant others:


And talking about what they like about the Islanders' move to Brooklyn:


Melissa Courcelles, girlfriend of Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath, and Stephanie Sabourin, fiancée of Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, gave ThePostGame a dual-team interview, discussing their favorites parts of New York City.


Food Bank For New York City provides more than 64 million free meals to New Yorkers in need per year. Even in the middle of rivalry week in New York, Rangers and Islanders' wives and girlfriends found time to contribute to the cause.


Go #TeamHLF go!! @nyrangers wives/gfs fighting to win the @foodbank4nyc Repack Challenge

A photo posted by Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (@hlundqvistfoundation) on


Keeping an eye on the competition!! @ny_islanders wives/gfs teaming up with #HLF to support @foodbank4nyc. #makingsaveswithHLF

A photo posted by Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (@hlundqvistfoundation) on






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-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.