The New York Islanders will try and replicate their efforts from Thursday tonight when they face the New York Rangers for the second time in four days back at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. After tonight the Islanders won’t see the Rangers again until Feb. 9.
The Islanders put on a pretty impressive performance in their shutout win of the Rangers to open the season. Semyon Varlamov became the first Isles’ netminder to hold a team scoreless on opening night since 1976. The Islanders also held the Rangers to less than 30 shots.
“It’s only one game,” Jordan Eberle said on Friday. “That Rangers team, they have a lot of skill over there. They’re a good young team. We’re going to expect their best tomorrow. I think that’s what’s unique with this season is that you’re playing teams multiple times that you get a look and you get a feel for what they’re going to be like in the first game.
“Then the second game it could be completely different.”
That very well could be the case when the Rangers and Islanders hit the ice. The Blueshirts were already making some tweaks at practice on Friday that could carry over to tonight’s game.
Tony DeAngelo will not play tonight for the Rangers. He practiced with the Rangers taxi squad and AHL players on Friday, Anthony Bitetto joined their main group and head coach David Quinn shuffled some of their lines.
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) January 16, 2021
Alexandar Georgiev will start instead of Igor Shesterkin tonight for the Rangers.
The Islanders kept things the same during their practice on Long Island on Friday. Leo Komarov and Kieffer Bellows split some time on the third line.
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said that he had a goalie picked out for today, but would not say who it would be on Friday. During pregame availability today, the Islanders head coach said there could be one or two changes to the lineup tonight.
If any changes do occur it would be on the Islanders’ third line, either taking out Bellows or Ross Johnston. Trotz did like the game that Bellows played on Thursday though.
“Kieffer I thought had a really solid game,” Trotz said on Friday. “There were a couple of times some of the reads, some of it on him and some of it on his linemates. He doesn’t look out of place at all, which is good. He’s making the best of his opportunities.”
NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINEUP (PROJECTED)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — JosBailey
Ross Johnston — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Kieffer Bellows
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
NickLeddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Tonight marks the first time in franchise history that the Islanders will play consecutive games on the road against the Rangers. … Thursday marked the second time in franchise history that they opened the season with a three-goal first period. … The Rangers have won five of their last eight games against the Islanders. … Today’s starter Alexandar Georgiev holds the Rangers record for most saves against the Islanders with 42, which he made on Feb. 25, 2020.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air locally on MSG+ or it is streamable on MSG Go or on NHL.tv outside of the New York market. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.