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Game Preview: Islanders vs Rangers

The Isles and Rangers rematch at Nassau Coliseum (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (28-13-4) VS NEW YORK RANGERS (22-19-4)

7 PM | NYCB LIVE | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 970AM


The Islanders needed a response game after dropping a 6-2 decision to the Rangers on Monday night and did so with an 8-2 rout over Detroit on Tuesday night. All eight goals were scored at even strength, as Brock Nelson scored twice while Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Noah Dobson, Anthony Beauvillier and Leo Komarov also found the back of the net. Thomas Greiss made 34 saves. 

The Rangers last played on Monday night and claimed a 6-2 victory over the Isles. Artemi Panarin had a five-point night (2G, 3A), while Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider, Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba also scored for the Bluehshirts. Alexandar Georgiev made 32 saves.  

Thursday marks the second of three meetings between the teams in a nine-day span. Thursday also marks the first Islanders-Rangers game at Nassau Coliseum since March 10, 2015. 


Video: Morning Skate: Barry Trotz


MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

- Semyon Varlamov was the first goatender off at morning skate. Varlamov is projected to make his 26th start of the season. 

- Casey Cizikaks will play tonight against the Rangers. Cizikas missed two games after taking a shot to the groin in overtime against Boston on Saturday. 

"I skated yesterday just to see how it felt," Cizikas said. "It felt good yesterday and felt good today. I'm excited to get back."

- Alexandar Georgiev will start tonight in goal for the Rangers with Henrik Lundqvist backing him up as confirmed by Rangers head coach David Quinn. Georgiev will make his 21st start of the season and second-straight against the Islanders. Georgiev made 34 saves against the Isles on Monday night. 



ISLES NOTES: 

- Nelson took over the Isles goal-scoring lead with his 18th goal of the season and recorded his second-straight two-point game. Nelson has three goals and one assist during that span. Through 45 games this season, the center has 35 points (18G, 17A), second on the Islanders.  

- Eberle also recorded his second two-point night (1G, 1A) in as many games. The winger scored his sixth goal of the season and notched his 500th career point with a secondary assist on Anders Lee's first period goal. This season, Eberle has 22 points (6G, 16A) through 35 games.  

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Isles to hold morning skate at 10:15 a.m.

ISLES TV

- Bailey snapped a 16-game goal drought as he scored his ninth goal of the season. The winger has 25 points (9G, 16A) through 45 games. Bailey shifted back to center for Tuesday's game after playing five straight games on the wing. 

- Lee scored his 14th goal of the season and had one assist on the night. The Islanders captain has 27 points (14G, 13A) through 45 games this season.  

- Dobson scored his first-career NHL goal on Tuesday. The 20-year-old rookie defenseman has played in 18 NHL games and has four points (1G, 3A) during that span. Dobson has played in seven straight games since Adam Pelech's season-ending injury and has seen his role expand of late, playing a career-high 20:24 TOI vs the Rangers and 18:14 vs Detroit. 

- Beauvillier tallied his 11th goal of the season and first goal since Dec. 14, snapping a 13-game goalless drought. Through 45 games this season, the winger has 25 points.  

- Komarov scored his first goal of the season and first goal since Jan. 20, 2019. The winger has eight points through 26 games this season.  

- Mathew Barzal registered two assists vs the Red Wings and had a goal reversed upon video review. Through 45 games this season, Barzal leads the Isles with 39 points and 22 assists and is second behind Nelson in goals.  

- Greiss made his 20th start of the season and improved his record to 13-7-0. The German netminder has a 2.54 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.  

- Ryan Pulock registered a new career high plus-four and had two assists on the night. The defenseman has 22 points (6G, 16A) through 45 games.  

- Otto Koivula drew into the lineup for the first time since Dec. 2. Koivula logged 13:39 time on ice and had one hit in his seventh-career NHL game. Koivula was recalled on Jan. 13 as Casey Cizikas missed his second-straight game. Cizikas blocked a shot in the groin in overtime against Boston on Saturday.  

- The Isles scored at least eight goals for the first time since they did so against Edmonton on February 7, 2016. 


RANGERS NOTES: 

- Panarin leads the Rangers in goals (26), assists (41) and points (67) through 45 games this season. The winger extended his point streak to four games with 12 points (4G, 8A) during that span. Panarin is fourth in the NHL in points this season.

- Fast had a three-point night (1G, 2A) and scored his eighth goal of the season on Monday. Through 44 games, the Swedish winger has 21 points.  

- Kreider scored his 15th goal of the season. The winger has 30 points (15G, 15A) through 45 games this season.  

- Fox scored his sixth goal of the season. The Long Island native (Jericho, New York) has 26 points through 45 games.  

- Trouba scored his seventh goal of the season and fourth on the power play. The defenseman has 22 points (7G, 15A) through 45 games this season.  

- Georgiev made his 20th start of the season and improved his record to 11-9-1. Rangers coach David Quinn confirmed that Georgiev will start against the Islanders on Thursday. 

- Brendan Lemieux has been sidelined since Dec. 27 with a wrist injury he sustained against Carolina. 

- The Rangers (48 points) are six points back of the Philadelphia Flyers (54 points) for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.


ISLES VS. RANGERS: 

The Rangers won the first of three meetings within the span of nine days between the Isles and Rangers with a 6-2 result on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers scored six unanswered goals after the Isles got on the board 18 seconds into the game with a goal from Eberle.  

As aforementioned, Thursday marks the first Islanders-Rangers game at Nassau Coliseum since March 10, 2015. The Islanders have won seven of their last eight home games against the Rangers, but all of those games took place at Barclays Center. 

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