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Islanders wrap up road trip at Rangers

Lundqvist will not dress for New York-New York showdown

by Dan Rosen @DRosenNHL / Senior Writer

ISLANDERS (35-20-7) at RANGERS (38-21-6)

TV: 5 p.m. ET; MSG+2, MSG, NHL.TV

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist will not dress for the game against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden, coach Alain Vigneault said. He is still considered day-to-day with neck spasms.

Lundqvist was injured against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, when defenseman Ryan McDonagh collided with him in the second period. He did not dress for the game Friday against the Washington Capitals either.

Lundqvist skated prior to the Rangers' full morning skate Sunday. He took shots from goalie coach Benoit Allaire and left the ice when the rest of the team started to come on.

"He's still not 100 percent, but he's on the right track," Vigneault said. "There's still some pain in the neck so he's day to day. He's got spasms up there and his movements aren't fully fluid so it'll take a day or two more, I'm guessing."

Antti Raanta, who made 32 saves in a 3-2 win Friday, will start back to back games for the first time this season.

Magnus Hellberg, who was with the team Sunday morning, is expected to be recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis to serve as Raanta's backup, as he did against the Capitals.

"I've been working hard in practice when I haven't been playing, so now it's time for that hard work to pay off in playing a few games in a row," Raanta said.

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will not play because of back spasms. Dylan McIlrath will replace him in the lineup.

Staal missed the game against the Penguins because of the flu. He played Friday, but Vigneault said the dehydration from the flu triggered his back spasms.

"He came in this morning and just could barely move so he won't be available tonight," Vigneault said.

Raanta has allowed five goals on 101 shots in his past four appearances, including a three-save effort in relief of Lundqvist in Pittsburgh. His last subpar outing came against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 12, when he allowed five goals on 34 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss at the Garden.

"Ever since the L.A. game he's played real solid for us," Vigneault said. "He's made some timely saves that have been huge for the players in front of him as far as their confidence level and their confidence in him. So we're expecting and we need his best game tonight. I mean, we're playing against a team here that's playing extremely well."

The Islanders, who did not skate Sunday morning, are playing the last game on their season-high seven-game road trip. They are 5-1-0 so far and 9-2-1 in their past 12 games. They are also 2-0 against the Rangers this season, but each game was played at Barclays Center.

The Rangers have a five-point lead on the Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders have three games in hand.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Rangers center Eric Staal, who will be playing in his first New York-New York game since being acquired in a trade on Feb. 28. "We got a Rangers-Islanders game. Marc's been talking about it for a while. I enjoyed the Washington game. I mean, it was competitive, it was fun. Great atmosphere, great energy, and I know today will be the same."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brock Nelson - John Tavares - Ryan Strome

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Shane Prince - Nikolay Kulemin - Anders Lee

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Brian Strait - Marek Zidlicky

Thomas Hickey - Travis Hamonic

Jaroslav Halak

Jean-Francois Berube

Injured: Calvin de Haan (lower body), Mikhail Grabovski (upper body)

Scratched: Steve Bernier, Eric Boulton Ryan Pulock, Thomas Greiss


J.T. Miller - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Jesper Fast

Oscar Lindberg - Eric Staal - Viktor Stalberg

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Kevin Hayes

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Keith Yandle - Kevin Klein

Dan Boyle - Dylan McIlrath

Antti Raanta

Magnus Hellberg

Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (neck spasms), Marc Staal (back spasms), Rick Nash (bone bruise)

Scratched: none

Status report: De Haan is expected to miss the game and be replaced by Strait or Zidlicky. ... Vigneault said he expects Nash to join the team in practice at some point this week. Nash, who will miss his 19th straight game, skated again Sunday morning prior to the full team morning skate.

Who's hot: Lee has scored in back-to-back games, Okposo has back-to-back two-point games, and Hickey has four points on two goals and two assists in the past four games. ... Stepan had two points, including the game-winning goal, in the win at Washington and McDonagh has points in four straight games (1-4-5), including two assists against the Capitals.

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