The New York Rangers (17-18-7, 41 points) return home to Madison Square Garden for the first game of a home-and-home matchup vs. the New York Islanders (23-14-4, 50 points) attempting to snap a four-game losing streak.
The Blueshirts — 3-5-2 in their last 10 games — lost on Tuesday, 4-2, vs. the Vegas Golden Knights in Sin City. A win tonight would be the team’s first in calendar year 2019.
The Islanders — 8-2-0 in their last 10 games — also lost Tuesday, 4-3, vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. Prior to that defeat, the Isles had won six games in a row.
A win tonight vs. the Rangers would put them back in a playoff picture whether it be third in the Metropolitan Division, assuming a loss by the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville, or somewhere in the Wild Card picture.
Here is a look at the projected lines for both sides.
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider — Mika Zibanejad — Mats Zuccarello
Filip Chytil — Ryan Strome — Jesper Fast
Jimmy Vesey — Brett Howden — Vladislav Namestnikov
Cody McLeod — Boo Nieves — Pavel Buchnevich
Marc Staal — Neal Pionk
Brady Skjei — Adam McQuaid
Fredrik Claesson — Kevin Shattenkirk
New York Islanders
Anthony Beauvillier — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey
Anders Lee — Brock Nelson — Jordan Eberle
Michael Dal Colle — Valtteri Filppula — Leo Komarov
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy — Johnny Boychuk
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews — Scott Mayfield
Kevin Hayes remains out of the lineup, and Fredrik Claesson comes back in for Tony DeAngelo. Here is what coach David Quinn had to say about the changes.
This is the third time the teams have met this season, with the Rangers having won 5-0 on November 21 at home, and the Islanders claiming victory in a 7-5 contest at the Barclays Center on November 15 when a quick moving snowstorm caused havoc for most of the Tri-state area. Both teams will square off again this Saturday January 12 in a 1:00 p.m. matinee at the Barclays Center.
Enjoy the game!