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game preview

Islanders at Rangers preview

New York teams meet for first time this season, will play three times in nine days

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

ISLANDERS (27-12-4) at RANGERS (21-19-4)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV


The Game

The New York Rangers and New York Islanders will play the first of three games in nine days against each other, at Madison Square Garden on Monday. It'll be the first time the New York rivals will face each other this season.

They also play at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday and Jan. 21 at the Garden, where the Rangers have won four games in a row, outscoring the opposition 21-10.

Alexandar Georgiev will make his first start for the Rangers since Jan. 4. He is one of three goalies, along with Henrik Lundqvist and rookie Igor Shesterkin, on the roster.

The Rangers are 2-4-0 in their past six games. The Islanders are 4-2-1 in their past seven.


Players to watch

Islanders center Mathew Barzal has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in eight games against the Rangers.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has scored at least three points in three straight home games. He has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in his past eight games overall.


They said it

"There's a rivalry factor here. These are important games for both teams. It's like a mini playoff series, so I hope it is a playoff intensity from our end. They'll probably have the same on their end. I'm looking forward to it, actually." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"We've got to take advantage of the times we can counter quick. We play fast and we try to not let them get into their structure. I think that's the biggest part. You're not slowing the play down and letting them get into their structure. I mean, [the Islanders are] a really good team. We've got to be on our toes today and really be ready to play fast." -- Rangers center Mika Zibanejad


Islanders projected lineup

Anthony Beauvillier -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anders Lee -- Brock Nelson -- Jordan Eberle

Michael Dal Colle -- Derick Brassard -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Matt Martin -- Leo Komarov -- Ross Johnston

Nick Leddy -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Noah Dobson -- Johnny Boychuk

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: None

Injured: Casey Cizikas (lower body), Adam Pelech (Achilles), Cal Clutterbuck (wrist)


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Kaapo Kakko

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Brett Howden -- Filip Chytil -- Phillip Di Giuseppe

Micheal Haley -- Greg McKegg -- Brendan Smith

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Libor Hajek, Igor Shesterkin

Injured: Brendan Lemieux (hand), Pavel Buchnevich (flu)


Status report

Buchnevich and Staal (upper body) are game-time decisions, Rangers coach David Quinn said. Staal skated Monday, but Buchnevich, a forward, did not. … Di Giuseppe was recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Sunday. … Cizikas, who didn't skate Monday, is a game-time decision, Trotz said. The center was hit by a deflected shot from Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak during overtime Saturday. 


Stat pack

Georgiev is 2-1-0 with one shutout, a 0.87 goals-against average and .967 save percentage against the Islanders. … Eberle will play in his 700th NHL game. … The Islanders have drawn three power-play opportunities in their past four games, going 0-for-3.

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