The New York Islanders take on the New York Rangers on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Watch the game on MSG+2 or MSG GO. Listen to the game on 88.7FM WRHU or 660AM/101.9FM WFAN. Read the game preview and game notes.
Ryan Pulock will make his season debut on Thursday, getting into the lineup after missing the first six games of the season. Head Coach Doug Weight said Pulock will see time on the power play, but didn't specify who'd come out of the lineup, or what regular pairing Pulock will play on.
"He's a guy that can put points up, he's done it at every level he's played, so we want him to maintain that playing-on-his-toes attitude, shoot the puck and be confident," Weight said. "He's worked hard these last two weeks. One of the best parts of our game has been our defense, so it's been a difficult situation, but I'm excited to see him get in there."
Pulock practiced with the top power-play unit on Wednesday and will look to spark a unit that's gone 0-for-20 to start the season. The Islanders 2013 first-rounder scored 22 power-play goals in three seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and has a 100-mph slap shot in his arsenal.
"I'm just looking to go in there and get pucks on net," Pulock said. "Use my shot obviously it's a big part of my game. Hopefully I can help out in that aspect and we can get a couple tonight."
"He's got a cannon of a shot, so that's a huge threat for us to have on the back side there and getting pucks to the net," Anders Lee said. "With his skill set, we can really add another dimension to the power play."
HALAK IN GOAL:
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders on Thursday - his 400th career start in the NHL. Halak holds a stellar record against the Rangers since joining the Islanders, going 7-3-0, with a 2.39 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage with a shutout. At MSG, Halak is 3-1-0 with a 2.75 GAA and a .917 SV% with a shutout since joining the Islanders.
"You just go into the game with that much more confidence," Lee said. "Jaro just seems to step up in these Ranger games and at MSG here. It's huge for us, so hopefully that continues tonight, we have a good showing and play well in front of him."
ISLANDERS LINEUP NOT SET:
Doug Weight didn't specify who was coming out of the lineup for Pulock on Thursday. Nikolay Kulemin and Anthony Beauvillier were both out for extra work after morning skate, but Weight hasn't said whether he's playing 11 forwards and seven defensemen, or taking a defenseman out of the lineup. Check back at 6:40 p.m. for lines.
McDONAGH IN FOR RANGERS:
Despite missing practice on Wednesday, Ryan McDonagh will suit up for the Rangers on Thursday.
RANGERS PROJECTED LINES:
|LEFT WING ||CENTER ||RIGHT WING |
|RICK NASH ||MIKA ZIBANEJAD ||MATS ZUCCARELLO |
|JIMMY VESEY ||KEVIN HAYES ||JESPER FAST |
|CHRIS KREIDER ||DAVID DESHARNAIS ||J.T. MILLER |
|MICHAEL GRABNER ||ADAM CRACKNELL ||PAVEL BUCHNEVICH |
|RYAN MCDONAGH ||ANTHONY DEANGELO |
|MARC STAAL ||KEVIN SHATTENKIRK |
|BRADY SKJEI ||BRENDAN SMITH |