New York Islanders, Ne
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Rangers are set to kick off a home and home series against the New York Islanders as both teams looks to bounce back.

Frank Curto

New York Rangers 17-18-7
New York Islanders 23-14-4
Television: MSG Network
Venue: Madison Square Garden

The New York Rangers return from their West Coast trip after dropping all three of the games they played which included a 4-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. The Blueshirts are still looking for their first win of 2019 and hope to get that win tonight as they host their biggest rivals, the New York Islanders with two big points on the line.

The Islanders had a six-game winning streak snapped in their 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum Tuesday night. The Islanders play Thursday’s game just one point out of a wild-card spot. The Rangers, who have plummeted in the standings since November, sit nine points behind the Isles.

Kevin Hayes will miss his fourth straight game as he is still recovering from an upper-body injury.

The teams split their first two games this season, with the Islanders winning 7-5 in Brooklyn on Nov. 15 and the Rangers winning 5-0 at the Garden on Nov. 21 as Alexandar Georgiev made 29 saves for his first NHL shutout.

Henrik Lundqvist will get the start tonight and he’ll face Robin Lehner, who has won his last seven straight games.

The Rangers will change defensemen as Fredrik Claesson will be in the lineup in place of Anthony DeAngelo.

Projected lineups for tonight’s game:

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello

Filip Chytil-Ryan Strome-Jesper Fast

Jimmy Vesey-Brett Howden-Vladislav Namestnikov

Cody McLeod-Boo Nieves-Pavel Buchnevich

Marc Staal-Neal Pionk

Brady Skjei-Adam McQuaid

Fredrik Claesson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Henrik Lundqvist

New York Islanders

Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier-Mathew Barzal-Josh Bailey

Michael Dal Colle-Valtteri Filppula-Leo Komarov

Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy-Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews-Scott Mayfield

Robin Lehner

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at