After suffering a shootout defeat to Alex Georgiev and the Colorado Avalanche, the New York Rangers will take on their local rival at UBS Arena (7:30 P.M. ET, TNT).
|19th||NHL Standing Rank||30th|
On Tuesday night, the Blueshirts lost a very competitive game in a shootout to the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Both Alex Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin were solid in the game and proved why Rangers goaltender coach Benoit Allaire is one of the best to ever do it. The game was tied 1-1 entering the third period. The Blueshirts started on a power-play but conceded a short-handed goal on a rare misplay of the puck by Shesterkin. The Russian netminder would make up for it with some stellar saves keeping the Rangers just down one. With the third period starting to wind down, Adam Fox who was the best skater for either team all night long, would make a defensive play and steal the puck from Nathan MacKinnon. Fox lead an odd man rush the other way and got the better of the reigning Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar and scored a tap in goal to tie the game. It is a play that should be on Fox’s highlight reel for years to come.
Rangers vs Islanders
The Blueshirts will look to snap their three-game skid (0-1-2) in Long Island where they take on the Islanders. This marks the first time the two rivals will meet this year and the first time since the Islanders dismissed Barry Trotz. The Blueshirts were subjected to two “revenge games” in their last three games starting with David Quinn coaching the San Jose Sharks and Georgiev on Tuesday. Now the Blueshirts will be on the other side when Jaroslav Halak (presumably) makes the start against his former team. Halak was the starting goaltender for the Islanders for four seasons and was a nightmare for the Rangers. The 37-year-old was good in his first game as a member of the Rangers but was far from his best against the Blue Jackets. Now, Halak will be looking for his first win of the Rangers away from home against the team where he had a lot of success.
Chris Kreider is a player the Blueshirts are hoping can return to his goalscoring ways. Kreider had 52 goals last season but just has two in his opening seven games. With just four points to his name, the Rangers need Kreider to get going and a good game against his career rivals could help give him the spark he needs.
The Islanders enter this game also on a three-game losing skid. In each game, the Islanders have allowed at least three goals. With Trotz being fired by the Islanders, Lane Lambert became the new head coach of the Islanders. Lambert was the long-time assistant to Trotz going back to 2011 during their time in Nashville. Lambert would follow Trotz to Washington where they would go on to win a Stanley Cup. Following Trotz and the Capitals parting ways after the Stanley Cup victory, Lambert would follow Trotz to Long Island.
The Islanders gave Matthew Barzal an eight-year contract extension this past offseason worth 9.150 million dollars per season. Unlike John Tavares, their star center stayed in Long Island and will be a part of their long-term plans. Barzal currently has six points in seven games but no goals.
The only noticeable move the Islanders made this offseason was trading away their first-round pick to Montreal in exchange for defenseman Alex Romanov and a fourth-round pick. Romanov has yet to record a point this season. The 22-year-old hasn’t been known for his offense as he has just 19 career points in 139 days. Romanov makes the second line defensive pair with Noah Dobson.
While the Blueshirts played a penalty kill that struggled last night, they will play one tonight that is as confident as they come. The Islanders are just one of two teams to have yet allowed a power-play goal this season. The Rangers couldn’t make the most of their opportunities last night against a team that had allowed at least one power-play goal in every game and will now face a team that has yet to concede one.
Filip Chytil remains out of the lineup with an upper-body injury. The Blueshirts will remain with the same lineup barring any injury up front. On defense, Zac Jones could return to the lineup although Libor Hajek had a fine game last night. That could be the only change Gallant opts to go with in Long Island.
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