New York Islanders v New York Rangers
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 19, 2017 in New York City. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 4-3 in the shootout.

With both teams coming off of extended breaks, the Islanders and Rangers renew their rivalry with fresh legs.

The New York Islanders will meet up with their rivals at just the perfect time. Both teams are ailing from injury, with the Islanders down Andrew Ladd, Josh Bailey and Johnny Boychuk (not to mention Calvin de Haan being out for the year).

The New York Rangers are coming off of a closely-fought 2-1 loss to the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights, and are definitely no stranger to injury. Kevin Hayes suffered an injury against Vegas, and Chris Kreider will likely miss the rest of the regular season after undergoing successful blood-clot surgery.

For the Islanders

An emotional win over the Devils stopped the bleeding at five games, but damage has been done and the Isles now find themselves two points out of a playoff spot, and are behind both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, both by two points and one point respectively.

There were some good vibes following the Islanders after snapping a five-game losing streak, as John Tavares and Josh Bailey were both named to the All-Star game.

Dating back to the 2014-15 season, the Islanders are 11-3 against the Rangers and currently own a four-game winning streak against them too.

Michael Dal Colle — selected fifth-overall in the 2014 draft — is set to make his NHL debut in the place of an injured Ladd. Rookies Anthony Beauvillier and Sebastian Aho will dress as well. The trio were recalled from Bridgeport after brief assignments.

For the Rangers

Aside from being down Kreider and Hayes, the Rangers lineup has seen some shuffling, especially after both Brendan Smith and Pavel Buchnevich were scratched against the Golden Knights.

Smith is going to be scratched for his second straight game, as Head Coach Alain Vigneault has been enjoying the play of Steven Kampfer of late.

There are no concerns for the Blueshirts in net, as Henrik Lundqvist continues to turn back the clock and deliver when needed. Lundqvist was voted to his fourth-career All-Star game.

The Rangers have leapfrogged the Islanders since they last met, now having possession of the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference — where they finished last season.

With the season shifting past the halfway point, the Rangers have picked up a lot of momentum the Islanders seemed to have lost. But, it’s practically a new season with the Isles trailing by just three points.

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.