Team Record: 42-18-7 Last Game: 4-3 L @ CHI Season Series: 3-1-1 of 6
Dylan Reese After missing the last 11 games with an MCL sprain, Reese stepped back into the lineup in a big way Saturday night against the Devils. He looked comfortable and strong in his 17-plus minutes paired with Captain Mark Streit. In the 2-1 loss, Reese joined Streit as the only Islanders defensemen to finish with a plus-rating.
Reese played a sound, physical game against New Jersey. He looked no worse for wear as he delivered three solid bodychecks and controlled his areas of the ice.
Brandon Dubinsky Dubinsky will return to the lineup for the Rangers tonight after leaving Tuesday's game against the Devils with a hand injury and sinus pressure. Even though his numbers are down this year, the energy and intangibles Dubinsky brings to the team add an extra dimension to this rivalry game. Dubinsky often seems to get himself in the middle of many scuffles during Islanders-Rangers games, so he shouldn’t be expected to ease his way back into the lineup.
His plus-14 is good for sixth on the East’s top team and his 104 penalty minutes are second, behind only Brandon Prust. If he can control his emotions and agitation skills enough to stay out of the box, his full effectiveness will be on display.
Finishing this year’s Rivalry: As always, games this season between the NHL’s two lower New York squads entertained thousands. In five games this year, the teams have combined for 27 goals, 168 penalty minutes and five fights. Rest assured the final match-up of the year could blow the roof off Madison Square Garden. An Islanders win would secure a .500 record against their cross-town rivals for the second time in three seasons.
Moving On: After a disappointing loss in the final 90 seconds to the Devils Saturday night, the Isles have a chance to bounce right back with a game less than 24 hours later against their biggest rivals. The Rangers often bring out the best in the Islanders, and Sunday gives the Isles the opportunity to take advantage of short-term memory loss. The Rangers have lost three games in a row for the first time all season.
Drop that Puck: When the Islanders played a strong puck possession game for 58 minutes Saturday night, most of that possession came from solid faceoff victories. The Isles won 66 percent of the game’s draws with their top centerman getting the job done. John Tavares won 14 out of 20 faceoffs. Frans Nielsen and Marty Reasoner each went 6-2.
Matt Moulson scored the game-decider in the fourth round of a shootout as the Islanders edged the Rangers 4-3 on Feb. 24 at Nassau Coliseum. PA Parenteau scored two goals and Moulson added one in regulation while John Tavares picked up two assists. Marc Staal, Marian Gaborik and Derek Stepan rounded out the scoring for the Rangers. Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves on 36 shots for the win while Martin Biron allowed three goals on 27 shots in the loss.
Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played the Rangers.
Sports hernia/knee swelling
Power play: 17.8% Penalty kill: 81.4% Home record: 15-15-5 Road record: 13-16-4 Goals For: 157 Goals Against: 202
Power play: 13.8% Penalty kill: 86.9% Home record: 22-7-2 Road record: 20-11-5 Goals For: 184 Goals Against: 145
Answer from Saturday's question: What pair of Islanders were traded to Los Angeles on Mar. 10, 1980 for Butch Goring? The answer is: Billy Harris and Dave Lewis. The Islanders traded their first pick from the 1972 NHL Entry Draft and Dave Lewis for “the final piece of the puzzle.”
Check after media availability this afternoon for lineups.
Islanders Captain Mark Streit on the tough loss to the Devils on Saturday: "We felt great for 90 percent of the game. Then within a couple minutes we threw the game away. When you get punished like that, it hurts."