NEW YORK, NY–The New York Islanders (18-13-2) have just one game left on their current road trip, and that’s a duel against their cross-town rival New York Rangers (18-11-5) Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is slated for 7 PM ET.
This is the first of a back-to-back for the New York Islanders, as they host the Florida Panthers Friday night at UBS Arena.
The Islanders held a morning skate at Madison Square Garden Thursday morning, an optional one that featured just six players:
Robin Salo, Simon Holmstrom, Zach Parise, Oliver Wahlstrom, Ross Johnston, Cory Schneider
— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) December 22, 2022
“It’s pretty cool. The other thing is they were childhood friends. So I think it’s a pretty cool situation,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said.
New York Islanders captain Anders Lee weighed in.
“Both goaltenders are some of the best in the league, and Sorokin has been playing phenomenal hockey all season. So you know, he gives us a chance every night and a great opportunity,” Lee said. “And on the other end of it, we got to work really hard to give the other goaltender some trouble, and he’s going to make any save he can see, so it’s going to be a great matchup.”
The Islanders are 2-0-0 against the Rangers season as they go for the season sweep Thursday night. A regulation win puts the Islanders a point behind the Rangers for the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Per Lambert, no other injured skaters have been skating on their own besides Kyle Palmieri.
Here’s what the Islanders had to say ahead of their contest against their biggest rivals:
Anders Lee: “I think it’s always a big one. It’s always a big swing in the standings kind of thing. Division games are always tight. As always, there’s always a lot of energy between our teams.”
Matt Martin: “I know we pride ourselves on our defensive game, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of, at least, limiting their opportunities, and when they have had their looks, I think Varlamov and Sorokin, as they always do, stand tall for us.”
Noah Dobson: “All the games I think I’ve been part of all had a lot of emotional swings throughout the game momentum changes. It’s always fun to come here and play, and now that we got our rink, it’s fun. The atmosphere just ramps up when the Islanders and Rangers are playing, so we’re looking forward to tonight.”
Lane Lambert: “Well, I just think both teams love playing each other, and it doesn’t matter where we play or what building we’re in. It’s always a great game.”
NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINES (PROJECTED)
Josh Bailey-Mat Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Hudson Fasching
Robin Salo-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
NEW YORK RANGERS LINES (PROJECTED)
#NYR warmup lines vs. Penguins:
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) December 20, 2022
Tonight, the New York Islanders visit the New York Rangers in the third and final matchup between the two clubs this season.
The last time these teams met was November 8 at Madison Square Garden, when Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson, and Anders Lee scored three unanswered goals in the third period to earn a 4-3 comeback victory.
The Islanders enter tonight’s game with four wins in their last five meetings with the Rangers and are 6-1-0 at MSG since the beginning of the 2021 season. They begin their seventh back-to-back series tonight and return home tomorrow to host the Florida Panthers.
DRAFTKINGS BETTING CORNER
Do you think the New York Islanders will beat the New York Rangers? You can get the Islanders at +135 & -195 on the reverse puck line. The Rangers come in at -155 & +165 puck line.
The over for the contest is 5.5 at -115, with the under at -105.
Head over to DraftKings to place your bets now!
HOW TO WATCH
Thursday’s contest will be available on MSGSN. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU, and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.