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Battle For New York: Islanders, Rangers Square Off Under Less than Ideal Circumstances

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New York Islanders UBS Arena

The game will go on. The COVID decimated New York Islanders are still scheduled to face the New York Rangers in the first-ever showdown between the interstate rivals at UBS Arena.

Questions over whether the game would even be played swirled around for the past 24 hours since the Islanders announced a seventh player had been placed in COVID protocol. Zdeno Chara joined Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Ross Johnston, Andy Greene, Adam Pelech and Kieffer Bellows in COVID protocol.

The New York Islanders called up Thomas Hickey and Anatolii Golyshev from AHL Bridgeport.

NHL Not Doing Right by Fans, Teams in Allowing Islanders and Rangers to Play

It’s unclear what the Islanders lineup will look like when they hit the ice against the Rangers. Not only have the Islanders been decimated by COVID, but they’ve lost both Ryan Pulock and recently Brock Nelson for extended periods of time due to injury.

The Islanders held an optional morning skate on Long Island on Wednesday, but the team’s media availability had been pushed back to the late afternoon. Lou Lamoriello has addressed the media prior to the past two games to announce new players entering COVID protocol.

The New York Rangers also held a morning skate on Long Island at UBS Arena. Igor Shesterkin will start for the Rangers on Wednesday night.

The New York Islanders have dropped six straight entering the game.

Game Notes

The Islanders and Rangers met eight times last year. The Islanders won the season series 6-2. … The Islanders have opened the scoring in 10 of their first 15 games this season. They are 5-3-2 this season when scoring first. … The Islanders played in front of back-to-back capacity crowds of 17,255 in their first two games at UBS Arena. … The Rangers have wins five of their last six games and points in eight of their last 10 games. … Artemi Panarin led the Rangers last season with two goals and two assists for four points in eight games against the Islanders last season. … Defenseman Adam Fox leads NHL defensemen in points (18) and is tied for the lead in assists (14). The Long Island native has six points in his last six games.

How to watch

The showdown between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers will air on MSG+ and MSG Go. On the radio dial, 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 LI News Radio will carry the broadcast.

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