The New York Islanders face off against their archrivals, the New York Rangers, tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Islanders enter the game hot, riding a 2-0-0 start to the season, while the Rangers have dropped two straight, including their home opener 6-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.
“We have to turn the page, I know last weekend was a good weekend, but we have to start fresh,” Brock Nelson said. “It’s a huge matchup, it seems early, but down the road you look back at these games, they are important ones.”
Brock Nelson leads the team in scoring with six points (3G, 3A) while captain John Tavares and newcomer Johnny Boychuk each have a goal and four assists through two games. The Rangers counter with leading scorer Rick Nash (4G, 1A) and franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Click here to read and watch a full preview of tonight’s game. Continue reading for updates, video and audio from today’s morning skate at Nassau Coliseum.
NEWS, NOTES AND QUOTES
Coliseum Skate: The Islanders decided to skate at Nassau Coliseum this morning instead of staying the night in Manhattan and holding their skate at Madison Square Garden. Head Coach Jack Capuano said the decision was made by General Manager Garth Snow.
Listen to Head Coach Jack Capuano's Media Scrum
89 Cory Conacher – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
84 Mikhail Grabovski – 29 Brock Nelson – 18 Ryan Strome
12 Josh Bailey – 51 Frans Nielsen – 86 Nikolay Kulemin
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
2 Nick Leddy – 55 Johnny Boychuk
14 Thomas Hickey – 3 Travis Hamonic
37 Brian Strait – 8 Griffin Reinhart
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Chad Johnson
Welcome to the Rivalry:
Eight Islanders – Johnny Boychuk, Cory Conacher, Mikhail Grabovski, Jaroslav Halak, Chad Johnson Nikolay Kulemin, Nick Leddy and Griffin Reinhart – are getting their first taste of the Islanders-Rangers rivalry.
Seven Rangers – Anthony Duclair, Matt Hunwick, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Kevin Hayes, Lee Stempniak, Michael Kostka are getting their first taste of the Islanders-Rangers rivalry.
They Said It:
John Tavares: It’s early in the year still. These games are just always a lot of fun, no matter when they come up in the schedule… It just always brings an extra level of energy and excitement.
Watch John Tavares' Media Scrum
Johnny Boychuk: It’s a big test for us just for us to gauge ourselves and where we’re at. We’re a good team and they’re coming off being in the Stanley Cup Final, but making it that far, they haven’t had as much time to recoup.