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The New York Islanders take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday in the fourth and final meeting of the season series between the crosstown rivals.

The Islanders grinded out a 3-2 OT victory on Thursday over the Montreal Canadiens for their sixth consecutive win, which matches a season high. Kyle Palmieri scored 1:17 into the extra frame after Pierre Engvall scored in regulation and Casey Cizikas forced overtime. Semyon Varlamov only needed to make 12 saves on Thursday night, as the Isles limited Montreal to 14 shots on goal, which tied for fewest allowed this season.

Five teams in the East are separated by four points, but the Islanders (89 points) lead the pack, standing third in the Metropolitan Division. The Isles are three points clear of the Pittsburgh Penguins (86 points) who occupy the second wild card spot. The Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers are outside the playoff picture – all three teams at 85 points.

“With what’s at stake right now and the teams that are chasing us, we put ourselves in a spot where we control our destiny,” Casey Cizikas said. “Every single night we’re competing. You can see it on the ice, you can feel it in this dressing room, guys are buying in.”

The Islanders have three of a possible six points of the season series with the Rangers, most recently winning 4-2 on Tuesday. The Isles have dropped decision in their previous two games at Madison Square Garden following a streak of five wins.

Isles Morning Minute: Apr. 13 at NYR

The New York Islanders (37-27-15) take on the New York Rangers (53-23-4) at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon. Ilya Sorokin is the expected starter for the Islanders. The Isles Morning Minute is presented by Acrisure.


The Islanders have the opportunity to clinch third in the Metro on Saturday if they beat the Rangers, if the Penguins lose to the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. start) and if the Capitals lose in any fashion to the Tampa Bay Lightning (5:30 p.m. start).

For the Islanders to clinch a playoff spot – including the possibility of the second wild card spot – the Islanders need to earn two points against the Rangers, combined with two of the following three scenarios: the Penguins lose in regulation, the Capitals lose in any fashion, or if the Detroit Red Wings fall to the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. start).

The Isles could also still clinch a playoff spot with an overtime/ shootout loss if the Capitals and Red Wings both lose in regulation.



- The Islanders pulled off a win over the Canadiens with a shortened blueline. Noah Dobson left the game with an upper-body injury early in the first period after logging 1:28. The 24-year-old defenseman is having an outstanding year, leading the team with 60 assists and ranking second on the team in both points (70) and power-play points (24). Though Dobson’s absence was felt, the Islanders rose to the occasion. 

“You don’t want to lose someone that early, especially a defenseman,” Head Coach Patrick Roy said. “[Sebastian Aho] came in and played a really great game. I thought all the guys did a really nice job, taking those minutes.”

- Semyon Varlamov is 4-0-0 in his last four starts with a .943 SV% and allowing 13 goals over that span. Though Varlamov is hot right now, Patrick Roy plans to utilize both solid goaltenders in this crucial stretch, as Ilya Sorokin will get the nod against the Rangers. Sorokin has won two games in a row, picking up wins against the Chicago Blackhawks on Apr. 2 and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Apr. 4, allowing three goals in those two games. Sorokin is 3-3-1 lifetime against the Rangers along with a .900 SV% and a 3.29 GAA. 

- Kyle Palmieri buried his 28th goal of the year with his sixth career overtime-winner on Thursday while extending his goal streak to four games. The winger is already sporting a season with his best numbers as an Islander (28 goals and 49 points) and he is one point shy of his fourth career 50-point season. 

- Pierre Engvall netted his 10th goal of the season with a second period tally to knot the game at one apiece on Thursday, while his six shots on goal in the game match a career-high. The Swedish winger has two goals in his last four games. 

- Casey Cizikas snapped a 15-game goal drought on Thursday. He reached 22 points on the season, which marks his highest point total since 2018-19. 

- Mathew Barzal has 35 points in 30 career games against the Rangers, which marks his highest goal and point total against any opponent. He had points in seven consecutive games, which ended when he was held off the scoresheet in a 5-2 loss on Mar. 17. 

- The Islanders’ power play went 0-for-4 on Thursday and is 2-for-27 through the last 10 games. 

- The Islanders have outscored opponents 19-10 over the course of their six-game winning streak. Per Islanders team statistician Eric Hornick, the Islanders recorded multiple six-game winning streaks in the same season for the first time since 1983-84.

Cinematic Recap: NYI 3, MTL 2 OT


- The Rangers are first in the Metropolitan Division – and the NHL – with 110 points. They’re in a short slump as they aim to clinch the division, dropping two straight contests. The Carolina Hurricanes (109), who won four games in a row, threaten their first place status, trailing by just one point after a 5-2 win over the Blues on Friday night. 

- Filip Chytil joined his team for practice Friday for the first time since the center suffered a setback in January. He has not played in game action since Nov. 2 and was originally ruled out for the season after he dealt with concussions early in the season. Although there is no timeline for a return, Chytil will not face the Islanders on Saturday but could return to the Rangers lineup for playoffs. The 24-year-old recorded six assists through 10 games this season, following a campaign where he produced 45 points (22G, 23A) through 74 games in the 2022-23 season.

- Artemi Panarin is riding a 11-game point streak with nine goals and 23 points over that span. His 117 points lead the team and rank fourth in the NHL. His 47 goals lead the Rangers and shatter a previous career-high of 32 goals, set in the 2019-20 season.

- The Rangers have some weapons on their power play. Panarin is third in the NHL with 44 power play points, while Chris Kreider is fourth in the league with 18 power-play goals. The Rangers made the Islanders pay this season on the man advantage, scoring five power-play goals through three meetings of the season series. The Rangers’ power play is converting at 26.9% this season, which ranks second in the league behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes.

- The Rangers shorthanded unit ranks third in the league (84.0%).