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Oficiálne stránky New York Islanders

Preview: Islanders at Rangers

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (44-26-9) VS. NEW YORK RANGERS (45-26-9)



7 P.M. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, MSG+2, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM

FIVE THINGS:
1. ISLES-RANGERS IV:



Keep your broom handy, the New York Islanders are going for the season sweep against the New York Rangers on Thursday night – potentially the first season-series sweep in franchise history.

The Islanders have won the first three meetings with the Rangers this season, both games at Barclays Center and the most recent outing at Madison Square Garden. The first two games were low-scoring affairs, while the last was a run-and-gun 6-4 affair. As usual, it’ll be an electric atmosphere with dueling chants and visible hostility on the ice. 

2. WHAT IT MEANS: 

With the Islanders clinching a playoff berth on Tuesday night, Thursday’s game is about playoff seeding. The Islanders are two points behind the Rangers with a game in hand and must win this game if they want to catch the Rangers, who are third place in the Metropolitan Division. If the Rangers win in regulation, the Islanders will be a wild-card team in the postseason.  

3. DEPLETED DEFENSE:

The injury bug has bitten the Islanders this month and the blue line has been hit especially hard. The Islanders were down to five defenseman on both Monday and Tuesday nights, with Calvin de Haan exiting the game vs. Tampa Bay and Brian Strait leaving the game vs. Washington. 

Add that to Travis Hamonic’s regular season-ending lower-body injury and the Islanders could be down three of their regular defensemen. Two rookies – Scott Mayfield and Ryan Pulock – have filled in admirably for the Islanders, while Nick Leddy is playing big minutes, skating an Islanders’ season-high 29:26 on Monday. 

Jack Capuano did not offer an update on Strait after Tuesday’s game and de Haan did take warmups, so the Islanders hope to have one, or two of them back in the lineup on Thursday. 

4. HENRIK LUNDQVIST:



Henrik Lundqvist had a tough March, going 2-4-3 in nine games last month, but the low point came on April 2, when he was pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Since then, Lundqvist has bounced back with a pair of wins, including a 39-save win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. The 34-year-old is the key to the Rangers’ success and they’ll need him in top form with the playoffs a week away. The Islanders are 2-0 against Lundqvist this season.

5. MCDONAGH OUT FOR REGULAR SEASON:



Henrik Lundqvist had a tough March, going 2-4-3 in nine games last month, but the low point came on April 2, when he was pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots against the Buffalo Sabres. 

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