New York Islanders

After being decimated in a humbling loss to the Maple Leafs, the New York Islanders will need complete team effort to derail the New York Rangers winning streak. 

  • New York Islanders (25-20-10, 60 points)
  • New York Rangers (37-18-1, 75 points)
  • 7 p.m., Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • MSG+2, 970 AM, 88.7 FM, 103.9 FM

Round 3

The New York Islanders are looking to rebound after Tuesday night’s catastrophe, and what better way than to play the New York Rangers?

It will certainly be an emotional contest, with each team fighting to regain lost ground in the metro on different levels.

The Rangers, who rocketed off to a fast start, are looking to reclaim their seed in the metro while the Islanders are propelling themselves back into relevancy and into a playoff spot.


Some line changes trickled in after a revealing effort on Tuesday, Scott Mayfield will slot in for Adam Pelech and Thomas Griess will start yet again when the Isles play their crosstown rivals.

The scratch would do Pelech well, having strung together some rough efforts recently. There should arguably be more shuffling around, but without the depth on the current roster (Ryan Pulock is still on the SoundTigers) not much is possible.

Rival Take

For the Rangers, key players to look out for include the Hayes-Miller-Grabner line that has been producing well all season.

When asked about the matchup, Henrik Lundqvist had this to say:

“Every time we go out there and play, it’s a good atmosphere, Usually pretty intense. They had a tough loss the other night I saw, so I bet they are going to come really hard at home against us.”

Lundqvist has had an inconsistent season thus far but is coming off a recent stretch of good play, as have the Rangers in general.

The Islanders are going to have to look to end what has been a perfect February for the Rangers and a six-game winning streak.

Standings

After losing to the Blue Jackets 5-2 last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs remain stagnant at 63 points today.

It’s another opportunity for the Islanders to make up ground, and if there should exists a possibility to go even further down the line, these Metropolitan match-ups are what could influence a very slim shot at the first wild-card.

John Tavares knows exactly how important these games are for the fans and for the team, and I’m willing to bet Doug Weight drilled his team yesterday in practice.

Tavares, with Anders Lee and Josh Bailey have been thriving under Weight and are a new force.

It may not be the first time we’ve seen players have success on the sides of Tavares (see: Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau) but with Lee’s previous 25-goal season and Bailey having had time with Tavares in the past, things seem to finally be genuinely gelling for the Islanders top line.

Lock in the intensity, this one has been marked for a while.

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