With a 2-0 win over the Rangers that night, the Isles held a 3-4-2 but have since gone 23-6-2. The Rangers, who were 4-5-2 after that 2-0 loss at the beginning of February have 14-11-3. Good, but not anywhere as good as the Isles record since the last meeting of the cross-river rivals.
At the Nassau Coliseum, the site of tonight’s game, the Isles are an incredible 17-1-2. On the road, the Rangers hold a 9-9-2 record.
That’s a big advantage, at least on paper for the Isles who need to have a better game than they did last night. While they came away with a win, they were lucky to do so. After a strong opening eight minutes, the team fell flat for the next 52+. If not for Ilya Sorokin that game likely ends with the Islanders dropping both points.
New York Islanders lineup for tonight’s game against New York Rangers
Barry Trotz threw us all for a loop yesterday. We all thought that big changes were coming to the lineup after the trade. Everyone except for Butch Goring thought the top-line Leo Komarov experiment would come to an end, and we were all wrong. Except Goring of course.
With eleven minutes of game time last night, I suspect Leo’s time on the roster might be done. But then again, I’ve been saying that for a while. Here’s how I hope the Isles lineup, considering what Barry Trotz did last night:
Ideally, Palmieri is on the top line here, but with zero practice time, it doesn’t seem to fit with what Barry wants to do. He talked about exactly that in the post-game last night. Both newbies will have to learn on the fly until the team can actually get practice in. That won’t happen till after this game.
Keeping both of them in a more sheltered role until back-to-back games in Boston makes sense. The only change I see happening is in nets with Varlamov getting the start over Sorokin.
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While the Isles have a better record and a very impressive home record, they aren’t exactly run-away favorites to win tonight. Playing in back-to-back nights is typically a disadvantage when it comes to NHL money lines, but both teams played last night. So the fact that the isles are -135 favorites at the time of writing is a little surprising. The Rangers money line is at +122 for tonight.