Every time the New York Islanders and New York Rangers face off against each other, it is always a must-see game. Tonight there is a little extra spice when these teams drop the puck at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 p.m. eastern time.
Both the Islanders and Rangers have identical records (4-4-2) and have both amassed ten points through ten games. This total has the teams in a four-way tie for fifth place in the East Division with New Jersey and Buffalo, and one point behind Pittsburgh in fourth, who has eleven points in eleven games.
Tonight will be the Rangers’ fourth game of a six-game homestand. They have yet to lose a game in regulation during this stint of games (2-0-1) and are on a two-game winning streak.
On the other hand, the Islanders snapped their five-game losing streak with a thrilling 4-3 win over the Penguins on Saturday night at the Coliseum.
The New York Islanders look to hop into playoff position with a win tonight against the Rangers
Whoever picks up both points from tonight’s game will hop the Penguins and become the fourth seed in the East Division.
So far the Islanders and Rangers have met twice, with both teams winning a matchup each by a commanding margin. The Islanders beat the Rangers in the first game of the season 4-0 and two nights later the Rangers got their revenge by beating the Islanders 5-0.
Tale of the Tape
The Islanders come into today as the underdogs, courtesy of the Action network.
On paper, this game should be a close encounter. Both teams have extremely comparable stats and it has all the makings to be a close game till the end.
Fortunately, hockey is not played on paper and this game is a complete tossup. The Isles do provide a nice matchup as an underdog and look for them to get back to their identity that made them so successful in last year’s postseason.
Coming into tonight’s huge game against the Rangers, the Islanders are not projected to make any lineup changes to their roster from Saturday night.
Barry Trotz and the Islanders coaching staff have shuffled around their lines and roster, on offense, the past couple of games to find combinations that work.
The Islanders lines started to show some good chemistry on Saturday and it looks like Trotz will stick with those lines, in hopes of the Islanders winning back-to-back games for the first time since the middle of January.
The Islanders’ defense is projected to remain the same for the eleventh straight game. The blue and orange have yet to make any changes on defense and it looks very unlikely that it will happen tonight.
Semyon Varlamov is projected to start in goal after winning making 28 saves on 31 shots faced on Saturday night.
The Islanders are projected to lineup like this:
Just like the Islanders, the Rangers are projected to keep their same lineup as their last game, against the Capitals, tonight.
The Rangers have four players who are listed as day-to-day. Those players include Flip Chytil, Jack Johnson, Colin Blackwell, and Brendan Smith. All of these guys are expected to miss out on tonight’s clash.
Igor Shesterkin is projected to start after playing and winning both the Rangers prior two games. Georgiev will back him up.
The Rangers are expected to lineup like this:
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
Where to Catch the Game
TV: MSG (NYR Telecast), MSG+ (NYI Telecast), NBCSN, SN1, SNE
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM 1050AM
Livestream: MSG GO APP
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*