For the third time in nine days, the New York Islanders will go head to head against their crosstown rivals, the New York Rangers.
The Isles enter Tuesday's game with a three-game winless streak (0-2-1), though they managed to earn one one point in their 2-1 shootout loss to Carolina on Sunday. Anders Lee scored the sole goal in regulation while Thomas Greiss made 31 saves. The Isles lost in the eighth round of the shootout, their longest of the season to date.
The Rangers also enter off a loss, as they dropped a 2-1 decision to Columbus on Sunday night. Brady Skjei scored the Rangers sole goal in regulation and Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves.
Tuesday marks the Islanders last game before the all-star break and league-mandated bye week.
MORNING SKATE UPDATES:
- Thomas Greiss was the first goaltender off at morning skate and the projected starter to face the Rangers. If Greiss starts he will be making his 22nd start of the season and back-to-back starts.
- Josh Bailey took line rushes with Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson during morning skate. The winger missed the last period of the game against Carolina due to illness.
- The Isles look to earn their first win of the season series against the Rangers (0-2-0) and head into All Star break with a win.
"Every team in our division esepecially, when every team in our conference is winning, everyone is looking at the standings every day," Derick Brassard. "We know the importance of points are really important. We just want to finish on a good note and feel good about ourselves going into break."
- Lee scored his 15th goal of the season on Sunday and recorded a season-high eight shots. The Isles captain has 28 points (15G, 13A) through 48 games this season.
- Greiss made his first start since Jan. 14 and his 21st start of the season. The German netminder has a record of 13-7-0, a 2.54 goals against average and a .921 save percenrage.
- Josh Bailey left the game in the second period and did not return due to illness. Bailey logged 4:42 time on ice and had one shot during the two periods he played. The Islanders did not practice on Monday, so Bailey's status will be updated prior to the game. The early exit snapped Bailey's three-game point streak (2G, 1A).
- The Isles have lost their second consecutive shootout game after falling 6-5 in the bonus round to Anaheim on Dec. 21. The Isles fell to 82-65 all-time in shootouts, but still hold the NHL record for shootout wins. The Rangers are third all-time in shootout wins with 77.
- For the second time this season, the Isles have had at least three power plays in three consecutive games. The Isles power play went 0-for-3, but Lee's goal came 29 seconds after the Canes killed off their second penalty of the night. In the NHL, the Isles power play is ranked 22nd overall. Across the league, the Isles have had the fewest power-play opportunities at 111 (2.31 per game). The next lowest team is Anaheim with 127.
- The Isles penalty kill was perfect against the Canes as it went 2-for-2. The Isles PK is ranked 17th overall in the NHL at 80.3. The Isles are among the top-five least penalized teams as they have taken the fourth-fewest penalties this season at 132.
- The Isles are ranked third in the Metropolitan Division with 61 points and a record of 28-15-5.
- Skjei scored his seventh goal of the season. Through 46 games this season, the defenseman has 21 points.
- Jacob Trouba assisted on Skjei's goal to add his 16th assist of the season. The blueliner has 23 points (7G, 16A) through 47 games in his first season with the Blueshirts.
- Shesterkin made his third start of the season. The 24-year-old Russian rookie has a record of 2-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA and a .929 SV%.
- Alexandar Georgeiv will start in goal against the Islanders on Tuesday. Georgiev is 4-0-0 in four career starts against the Islanders - including the two most recent contests - with a 1.25 GAA, .961 SV% and one shutout.
- Artemi Panarin had a five-game point streak snapped against Columbus. Panarin had 13 points over that span (4G, 9A), which included a five-point game against the Islanders on Jan. 13. Panarin leads the Blueshirts in goals (26), assists (42) and points (68) through 47 games this season.
- The Rangers five-game home winning streak was snapped with the loss to Columbus. New York outscored their opponents 27-12 during that span.
- The Rangers are 10-10-1 over their last 21 games. The Rangers (50 points) are nine points back of the Carolina Hurricanes (59 points) for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
- Jesper Fast is expected to play in his 400th NHL game on Tuesday.
ISLES VS. RANGERS:
The Isles and Rangers meet for the third time in the last nine days. The Rangers have claimed the first two meetings with 6-2 and 3-2 results. Panarin led the way with a five-point game against the Isles on Jan. 13, while Chris Kreider broke a 2-2 tie with 24.6 seconds to play on Jan. 16.
While the Isles are 8-3-0 in their last 11 trips to MSG, the Rangers have won three straight meetings overall vs the Islanders.