Old rivals look to get going as NY Rangers and Islanders clash
The NY Rangers will clash with their biggest rivals, the NY Islanders on Wednesday night.
It’s the first of only three meetings between the teams with both of them desperately looking for a win. The Blueshirts are winless in their last three (0-1-2) and the Isles have lost three in a row (0-3-0).
The Islanders last played Saturday, when they finished a back-to-back road set with a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers. They will be the more rested team, as the Rangers are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Avs last night.
This contest also marks the only one this season between the Islanders and Rangers at the UBS Arena in Elmont. The teams split last season’s four-game series, with each earning a road sweep.
Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (3-2-2) vs. New York Islanders (2-4-0)
Date/Time: October 26, 2022 at 7:30 PM ET
Arena: UBS Arena
Radio: ESPN 98.7
NY Rangers face old rival Islanders
Whenever the Rangers and Isles play, you can throw out the standings as well as what each team did in their last game.
Although, after two straight subpar performances, the Blueshirts went toe-to-toe against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche.
“Obviously, you’d like to get the (extra) point, but we definitely played a lot better than we have in the last couple of games,” said Barclay Goodrow, who scored the Rangers’ first goal, in the second period. “So maybe see it as a starting point for something to catapult us through … the next little stretch here.”
The Rangers overcame a pair of one-goal deficits and outshot the Avalanche 46-44 before the shootout, when Evan Rodrigues scored in the fourth round and former Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev preserved the win by stopping Alexis Lafrenière.
Igor Shesterkin was brilliant in net, but a puck-handling gaffe led to the Avs getting a crucial 2-1 lead early in the third period.
“One goalie saved a shot and the other one missed a shot,” he said afterwards. “That’s the difference.”
There’s no word on who will man the net tonight against the Islanders, but it’s likely that backup Jaroslav Halak may get the call for the Rangers. However, if it is Shesterkin, Gerard Gallant has no concerns.
“He made one mistake in two years,” Gallant stated. “I didn’t even see what happened to be honest with you. I just saw he had the puck in the corner. It happens, we’ll get over it.”
The Rangers are playing their second back-to-back set of the season. They played consecutive road games Oct. 13-14, beating the Minnesota Wild 7-3 before falling to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1.
Isles hungry for a win
The Islanders, who advanced to the NHL semifinals in 2020 and 2021 before missing the playoffs by 16 points last season, have struggled to establish an offensive identity under first-year coach Lane Lambert.
After scoring a total of 12 goals in consecutive wins over the Anaheim Ducks and the Sharks, the Islanders have been outscored 12-6 during their losing streak, and they haven’t held a lead. In addition, while the team’s defensemen have combined for seven goals, the trio of Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal and Jean-Gabriel Pageau — who combined for 70 goals last season — remain scoreless.
Lambert shuffled the lineup during the trip to Florida. Josh Bailey, who has played 998 games for the Islanders, was scratched against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday before Anthony Beauvillier, who had a combined 101 points the previous three seasons, was scratched on Saturday.
“There’s no concern. The right pieces are here,” Lambert said Saturday night. “It’s just a matter of generating chemistry, and if things are not going the way we want to, do something in terms of moving our guys around. They understand that.”
The Islanders are 133-127-19-7 (wins-losses-ties-overtime losses) all-time against the Rangers, their most frequent opponent since joining the NHL in 1972.
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–Field Level Media contributed to this article