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Islanders Game 80 Preview at New York Rangers: Lines, Notes & How To Watch

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The New York Islanders (37-27-15) met the New York Rangers (53-23-4) just four days ago in a game that already had a lot at stake. As they reconvene this afternoon at Madison Square Garden, there’s much more on the line and a lot more tension in what could be a first-round playoff preview. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop.

A Potential Chance To Clinch:

If all goes well, the Islanders could find themselves officially in the playoffs by the end of today’s action, according to @IslesMagicNumber on X.

If they beat the Rangers, the Islanders can punch their ticket so long as two of the following occur:

-Washington loses to Tampa Bay in any fashion

-Detroit loses to Toronto in any fashion

– Pittsburgh loses to Boston in regulation

Even if the Islanders fall to the Rangers in overtime today, they can still clinch the playoffs if Washington and Detroit both lose in regulation.

Will Dobson Be Available?

Noah Dobson’s status for this afternoon’s game is uncertain. The defenseman exited the Islanders’ game on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Islanders head coach Patrick Roy will provide an update on Dobson later this morning.

Update: Noah Dobson Exits Islanders Game Versus Montreal With Upper-Body Injury

Scores To Settle:

If Dobson is in the Islanders lineup today, he, along with Adam Pelech, will face some retribution.

In the Islanders’ matchup against the Rangers on Tuesday, both players were involved in incidents that Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette labeled as “vicious.” When asked for a response, Dobson and Pelech were quick to defend themselves and dismissed Laviolette’s comments.

Pelech & Dobson Defend Themselves For Incidents In Islanders Win Over Rangers

Projected Lineup:

Cizikas-Horvat-Barzal

Holmstrom-Nelson-Palmieri

Lee-Pageau-Engvall

Martin-MacLean-Clutterbuck

Pelech-Romanov

Reilly-Pulock

Aho-Bortuzzo

Sorokin

Varlamov

Last Time Out:

With a 3-2 victory in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, the Islanders extended their winning streak to six games, tying their longest of the season.

The Islanders played behind for nearly the entire game but hung with the Habs as Semyon Varlamov had another strong performance in goal despite facing only 14 shots.

Pierre Engvall and Casey Cizikas each scored game-tying goals for the Islanders in regulation, setting up Kyle Palmieri to score the winner in overtime.

Palmieri Scores OT Winner, Islanders Knocking On Door Of Playoffs

The Opponent:

The New York Rangers have led the Metropolitan Division for much of the year but have felt their grip weaken lately.

With the Carolina Hurricanes hot on their tail, the Rangers’ lead in the division has shrunk to one point following back-to-back losses to the Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers. Regardless, the Rangers have the security of knowing they’ve already clinched a playoff berth.

Artemi Panarin comfortably leads the Rangers in scoring with 117 points, heading their potent power-play unit, which is second-best in the league.

The shorthanded unit is just as good for the Rangers as they’re killing off penalties at the third-highest rate this year. A large part of that has to do with goalie Igor Shesterkin.

The former Vezina Trophy winner has refound his form in the second half of the season and is expected to be the starter in goal against the Islanders this afternoon.

In 53 starts, Shesterkin posts a record of 34-17-2 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

This will be the fourth and final time the Islanders will face the Rangers this season. They are 1-1-1 against their rivals this year.

How To Watch:

Puck drop between the Islanders and Rangers from Madison Square Garden is scheduled for just past 12:30 p.m. EST. The game is available to watch on ABC or streamed on ESPN Plus. 88.7 FM WRHU will produce the radio feed of the game, which can also be heard on 1050 AM ESPN or 103.9 FM WRCN.

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