Stadium Series Preview: New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders at MetLife

Islanders to Play in 2024 Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium
Islanders to Play in 2024 Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium / nyislanders
facebooktwitterreddit

The New York Islanders and New York Rangers renew their rival at 3:00 PM EST this afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ for the Stadium Series. The game will be televised nationally on ABC and available for streaming via ESPN+. According to NHL PR, MetLife Stadium joins Yankee Stadium (2014) and Edgewood Tahoe Resort (2021) as the third venue to host multiple NHL outdoor games in the same season.

LAST GAME

This afternoon will be the Islanders' first game action since Tuesday, when they were defeated 2-1 in a shootout by the Seattle Kraken at UBS Arena. Making his first start since Dec. 9, Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves in the win for Seattle, who had lost their previous three. Matty Beniers scored in the first period for the Kraken, and Tomas Tatar had the lone goal in the shootout. Kyle Palmieri scored a power-play goal, and Ilya Sorokin had 29 saves in the loss for the Islanders (22-18-13), who are now 3-3-2 under Patrick Roy.

Meanwhile, the Rangers have won six straight and are coming off a 7-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden. Chris Kreider had a hat trick and defenseman Adam Fox collected four assists in the win.

HISTORICAL MATCHUP

Sunday afternoon will be the first time the Islanders and Rangers have played each other since Dec. 22. This will be the second Stadium Series game between the two rivals, with the Rangers defeating the Isles 2-1 at Yankee Stadium in 2014. The Rangers are 4-0-0 in outdoor games and will attempt to be the first NHL team to win five times in the elements.

Matt Martin
2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Elsa/GettyImages

This is also the fifth outdoor game coached by Peter Laviolette, who previously was behind the bench twice for Philadelphia and once each for Nashville and Washington. It will be the first outdoors game as a coach or player for Patrick Roy. Four Islanders (Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, and Brock Nelson) played in the 2014 game, while seven Rangers have prior outdoor experience. Martin and Semyon Varlamov are the only Islanders to appear in two such games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

They're foes on the ice but close friends in real life. Sunday's game will be the latest matchup in what should be a career-long rivalry between Ilya Sorokin and Igor Shesterkin. Forwards Mathew Barzal and Kyle Palmieri enter the game each on six-game point streaks. Brock Nelson leads the Islanders with 22 goals and was the team's lone goal scorer in the 2014 Stadium Series game. This will be the first Islanders-Rangers game for Bo Horvat since being acquired on Jan. 30, 2023.

Matt Rempke will make his NHL debut for the Rangers this afternoon, becoming the first player in league history to debut in an outdoors game.