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Rangers Vs. Islanders Preview: Rangers Seeking Fourth Straight Win Against Islanders

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The New York Rangers will take on the New York Islanders for the second time in seven days tonight at Madison Square

USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will be seeking their fourth straight win on home ice tonight, as they faceoff against the New York Islanders. The Rangers are currently riding a three game winning streak with their shootout win over the Boston Bruins just two days ago. The New York Islanders on the other hand, haven't been as great. They've dropped five straight game, and will be looking for their first win against the Rangers this season.

VS.

New York Islanders (4-7-1) vs New York Rangers (7-5-0)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY - 7:00 PM
Television: MSG / MSG+ | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7
Opponent's Blog: Lighthouse Hockey | Tickets: New York Rangers Tickets

Carl Hagelin has been lights out ever since he netted his first goal of the season, as he now has four goals in five games. Rick Nash, and Derek Stepan have also made huge contributions to the Rangers offense, which included Nash's unbelievable assist from his stomach on Tuesday night. Secondary scoring has been kicking into gear, and it's clearly showing on the scoreboard.

Something that still needs some work though, is the coverage in the defensive zone. The Rangers gave up two goals in a span of 40 seconds against the Bruins on Tuesday, and allowed them to steal a point that should have never been up for grabs in the first place. Luckily they were able to weather the storm and come out with the extra point.

Tonight is a game that the Rangers cannot afford to slip away. They've been rolling since their win over the Islanders last week, and need to keep the train rolling. As it's always been, get an aggressive forecheck going, throw everything on net, and lock it down in the defensive end. Pretty simple.

Some Quick Thoughts:

*** John Tortorella has opted to sit Chris Kreider tonight in favor of Brian Boyle's return to the lineup. It was a bit surprising to say the least, considering the current lineup has been winning games. But sooner or later, you had to expect that Boyle was going to get another crack at it. I'm just not sure tonight was the right timing for that, and definitely not sitting Kreider in favor of him. But hey, I don't make those decisions.

*** Henrik Lundqvist will be getting a rare night off, especially against the New York Islanders. Yet another surprising move by Tortorella, but with the upcoming schedule cooling down a bit, you had to expect Biron was going to get a couple of starts in the near future. In his only game played of the season, he played very well against, at the time, a very lethal Tampa Bay Lightning squad. You won't see any complaints from me about Biron starting.

Projected Lineup:

Marian Gaborik - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - J.T. Miller
Arron Asham - Jeff Halpern - Darroll Powe

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Matt Gilroy

Martin Biron
Henrik Lundqvist


Scratches: Chris Kreider (healthy), Stu Bickel (healthy), Steve Eminger (AHL assignment).