Renewed New York Islanders look to avenge first loss vs. Rangers
Jan 14, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) have to be separated during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Islanders playing better hockey as of late, the Metropolitan leading New York Rangers pay a visit to Barclays Center.

The New York Rangers lead the Islanders 1-0 in the regular season series against the two cross-town rivals. The Rangers beat the Islanders 5-3 in their season opener (and the Rangers home opener) to end the Islanders four-game winning streak vs. their crosstown rivals.

Revived, Recharged, Revenge

The Islanders are coming off of a stretch that has seen them take seven of the past eight possible points. Despite not moving up much in the standings, the Islanders are playing significantly better hockey than they were a little over a week ago.

Despite making up recent ground, the Islanders are still 4-3-3 in their last 10, while their crosstown rivals are 5-4-1. Neither team is exactly hot, but the Islanders do have more momentum heading into tonight’s matchup.

The Islanders need to continue pressing as hard as they have been if they want to continue to make up lost ground in the standings. The loss in Detroit was a misstep, too many turnovers in the defensive zone and not enough concentration with the breakout. However, Bailey’s goal was a large show of fight in the Islanders game that they haven’t had to start the season.

So long as they simplify their game they can begin to make up ground in the Metropolitan division and continue clawing their way towards a playoff spot.

Roster Adjustments

The Islanders lineup will be announced come game time, but goalie Jaroslav Halak will start, to no surprise. Halak is 6-3 against the Rangers since joining the Islanders in 2014.

It is unsure if the Islanders will make a last second call up, as the flu virus has been going around on the team. The likely candidate, Steve Bernier, is out with injury. This leaves a window of opportunity open for a rookie such as Michael Dal Colle or Josh Ho-Sang to possibly get their first NHL games, but it is unknown what action will be taken.

For the Rangers, forward Michael Grabner will not play vs. the Islanders. Grabner is attending his grandmother’s funeral, we wish him all the best. Marek Hrivik will take Grabner’s spot in the lineup.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be between the pipes for the Blueshirts.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.