The New York Islanders (30-27-9) finished off a month of March in which they went 10-6-1, capping it off with two wins over the Blue Jackets. But now, the Islanders head to Broadway to kick off the month of April against their biggest rival, the New York Rangers (44-19-5). Puck drop is slated for 7 PM at Madison Square Garden.
Given this being their second game in as many days, the New York Islanders did not take the ice on Friday morning. Head coach Barry Trotz will speak to the media at 4:30 PM ET as well will get an update on netminder Ilya Sorokin and a few other question marks before puck drop.
As of Thursday night, Trotz said that Semyon Varlamov or Cory Schneider will start against the Rangers. He would have a conversation with Varlamov, and although Trotz has the final say, if Varlamov is good to go, he will be in-between the pipes.
If Semyon Varlamov starts, it will be the first time in his NHL career that he starts the first and the second games of a back-to-back situation.
The latest update on Sorokin is that he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He was on the ice briefly during Thursday’s morning skate, so that’s a positive sign that his return is near.
As for defenseman Andy Greene, he was a game-time decision against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday but did not play, and Trotz said following the game that he would be a game-time decision Friday.
“I don’t think it’s anything too serious,” Trotz said. “But, you know, he’s honest. If he feels like he’s going to be able to help us and he’s not at any risk, then he’s probably going to line up.”
“If not, I thought Hutton and Aho did a really good job…”
The Rangers were pretty active at the NHL Trade Deadline. They acquired Andrew Copp from the Winnipeg Jets, Tyler Motte from the Vancouver Canucks, and Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Copp has points in every game as a member of the Rangers, with two goals and five assists, with one of his goals coming in overtime.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINEUP (PROJECTED)
NEW YORK RANGERS (PROJECTED)
ISLANDERS GAME NOTES
The New York Islanders visit the New York Rangers tonight, the third of four matchups between the two clubs this season. The last time these teams met was 15 days ago, on March 17, when Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri scored in a 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden.
The Islanders enter tonight’s game on the back-end of their fourth back-to-back series in the last month, after they won at home last night against the Blue Jackets.
Nine of the Islanders 16 remaining matchups will be Metropolitan Division opponents, and they have a 3-1-1 record in their last five matchups in their division.
The New York Islanders are the road underdogs against the New York Rangers, coming in at +160. They are -160 on the reverse puck line. The Rangers are -185 and are +140 on the puck line.
The over for the contest is set at 5.5, with the over at +-105 and the under at -115.
These lines are subject to change. Please gamble responsibly.
HOW TO WATCH:
Friday’s contest will be available on MSG (Rangers) & MSG+ (Islanders). On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.