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Islanders at Rangers preview

Pulock to make season debut; Lundqvist in goal

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

ISLANDERS (2-3-1) at RANGERS (1-5-1)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG Plus 2, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The New York Rangers look to end a four-game losing streak when they host the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Henrik Lundqvist (1-3-1, 3.23 goals-against average, .902 save percentage) is expected to start in net for the Rangers opposite Jaroslav Halak (1-2-0, 2.62 GAA, .907 save percentage).

Halak is 7-3-0 with a 2.39 GAA and .931 save percentage against the Rangers in his four seasons with the Islanders.

The Rangers, who are 0-3-1 in their past four, had leads late in the second period and in the final minute of the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, but lost 5-4 in overtime.

The Islanders have lost three of their past four (1-2-1), including 3-2 at the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. They are 0-for-20 on the power play this season, one of only two teams without a power-play goal (Anaheim Ducks).

 

Players to watch

Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock will make his season debut and likely will be on the top power-play unit. Pulock scored 22 power play goals in three seasons with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.

Rangers center David Desharnais has three points, including his first goal of the season, in the past two games. He is also playing on the second power-play unit.

 

They said it

"Taking nothing away from our power play, we should have had four or five goals, but you've got to get results. You get these people saying, 'It's got to turn around, you've had zone time, all the numbers look good.' If you rely on those I think you've got your head in the sand. You have to address it. The players need to know we're changing some things up so they can go. It doesn't mean you blow everything up and you curse the guys, but when things get stale it doesn't matter if you're on the cusp of getting there, you have to change some things to get there." -- Islanders coach Doug Weight on the power-play struggles

"We're kind of going out there hoping to make a good play, hoping to make things happen. Any time you hope it doesn't usually end up well." -- Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh

 

Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Jordan Eberle

Andrew Ladd -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Jason Chimera -- Brock Nelson -- Joshua Ho-Sang

Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Adam Pelech

Thomas Hickey -- Scott Mayfield

Ryan Pulock

Jaroslav Halak

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Dennis Seidenberg, Nikolay Kulemin, Anthony Beauvillier

Injured: Shane Prince (lower body), Alan Quine (upper body)

 
Rangers projected lineup

Rick Nash -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider -- David Desharnais -- J.T. Miller

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Michael Grabner -- Adam Cracknell -- Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh -- Tony DeAngelo

Marc Staal -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Brady Skjei -- Brendan Smith

Henrik Lundqvist

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: Nick Holden, Steven Kampfer, Paul Carey

Injured: None

 

Status report

Pulock will replace Kulemin, meaning the Islanders will use 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … McDonagh will play after missing practice Wednesday.

 

Stat pack

The Rangers are 30th in the NHL on the penalty kill (74.1 percent). … The Islanders have allowed the first goal in five of their first six games.

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