The Islanders and Rangers renew their rivalry at Madison Square Garden tonight, the Islanders’ first trip to Manhattan in 2013-14. Ahead of tonight’s game, the Isles held their morning skate above Penn Station. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skate.
Casey Cizikas returns to the lineup after missing two games with an injured jaw. Cizikas will center the fourth line with Matt Martin and Eric Boulton. Peter Regin comes out of the lineup for Cizikas. Cizikas:
I feel good. I’ve been taking contact and I’ve been good… On the ice, you don’t really notice [the jaw protector]… You never want to miss a game against these guys. These games are fun and something exciting always happens.Lineup Notes/Changes:
Matt Carkner will replace Aaron Ness on the blue line. Capuano said the move was aimed to give the Islanders some more size, plus he liked what he saw from Carkner in the last few days of practice.
The other lines are expected to remain the same. Colin McDonald, Peter Regin and Aaron Ness are healthy scratches tonight.Nabokov:
Evgeni Nabokov makes his third straight start in goal for the Islanders. The 38-year-old looked solid in the Isles last two games, allowing three goals over that span.
Welcome to the Rivalry:
Rookies Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan are playing in their first Isles-Rangers game tonight. From the Coach:
They are working a little harder, a little smarter. Josh had two chances – maybe three – Grabs is getting chances too. Defensively I think they are playing pretty solid, [Nielsen’s] line is going up against… the top line in Tampa. Offensively hopefully it’ll come for them.
It’s always a big game when you play them. The intensity is there. We talked about how we have to engage physically and mentally how we have to be prepared and play structured against this hockey club.