Rangers and Islanders square off with plenty at stake

NHL: New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are eyeing a Metropolitan Division title and their fourth Presidents’ Trophy with four games remaining in the 2023-24 season. Meanwhile, the New York Islanders are fighting tooth and nail with four other teams for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On Tuesday, these two bitter rivals will clash at UBS Arena with plenty at stake.

In their first meeting, the Blueshirts shocked the Isles with a late 6-5 OT comeback win outdoors at MetLife Stadium on February 18. That was followed by a St. Patrick’s Day drubbing at MSG on March 17 by a 5-2 score, leading to Islanders coach Patrick Roy urging his team to avoid trying to open it up against the Rangers.

“If we want to have success against these guys, we need to move the puck north and keep our game very simple,” Roy said on Monday.

The Rangers are well aware of how desperate their opponent will be, and coach Peter Laviolette feels his charges will be prepared for whatever the Isles throw their way.

“I think it will be a good game tomorrow,” Laviolette stated Monday. “They’ll be ready to play. We know exactly where they’re sitting (in the standings), and what we’re in for. We’ll be ready to play and be sharp as well.”

Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (53-21-4) vs New York Islanders (35-27-15)
Date/Time: April 9, 2024 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: UBS Arena
Radio: ESPN 1050 AM

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Jimmy Vesey coming up big for Rangers

New York Rangers projected lineup

NHL: Stadium Series-New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the expected lineup:

Kreider – Zibanejad – Roslovic
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Wennberg – Kakko
Vesey – Brodzinski – Goodrow

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider


Note: The Rangers will not hold a morning skate. Coach Peter Laviolette will address the media at 4:40 P.M. ET.

New York Rangers vs New York Islanders

The Rangers (110 points) are looking to set a franchise record with their next victory. If they can top the Islanders, they will record their 54th win, besting the mark of 53 set by the 2014-15 club. Heading into action on Tuesday, the Blueshirts have a five-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes (105 points) in the Metropolitan Division and a three point lead on the Boston Bruins (107 points) for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Carolina is in Boston tonight, so there will be some scoreboard watching. The Rangers’ magic number to win the Metro is four points. A win over the Islanders and a regulation loss by the Hurricanes will give the Blueshirts their first division title since the 2014-15 season.

For the Islanders, they have won four in a row and six of their past eight contests (6-2-0). Their recent hot streak has thrust them into third place in the Metro Division, which would guarantee them a playoff spot. However, they are in a divisional dogfight with the Pittsburgh Penguins (84 points), Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers (both at 83 points). Looking at the second wild card, the Detroit Red Wings hold it with 84 points.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are one of the best road teams in the NHL with a record of 25-11-4. This is also their last regular-season game away from Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts are currently riding a three-game winning streak and have won 13 of their past 16 games (13-3-0).

This is the third of four regular-season meeting against the Islanders. The Rangers hold a 2-0-0 advantage to date, with the final meeting at Madison Square Garden on April 13.

Upcoming Rangers Milestones

  • Vincent Trocheck is 3 goals away from 200 in his career
  • Mika Zibanejad is 6 goals away from 300 in his career
  • Kaapo Kakko is 4 games away from 300 in his career

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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