February 8, 2021

Rangers set to take on Islanders, who starts in goal remains to be seen

Jan 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) checks New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13 during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett /POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers vs Islanders: Tonight the Blueshirts will look to build on their momentum and keep their win streak alive. They face the Islanders at MSG and a victory will propel them into a playoff spot in the East Division.

(7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network)

Rangers: 4-4-2 (10 pts)
Islanders: 4-4-2 (10 pts)

The Rangers are not going to have a morning skate today. Head Coach David Quinn will address the media around 11:30 AM, where it is believed he will announce tonight’s starter.

Rangers vs Islanders: Georgiev or Shesterkin?

I have a sneaking suspicion that David Quinn is going to ride the hot hand and play Igor Shesterkin. The 25 year-old backstop has been great in the Rangers past two wins.

Of course, he doesn’t have a great track record against the Islanders. Igor was in net for the game one drubbing this season and it’s the only time he’s faced them.

rangers vs islanders
Shesterkin rotation (Photo by Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images)

Alexandar Georgiev on the other hand has an excellent history against the team’s most hated rival. In his career he’s faced them 8 times and has a 6-2 record, with a 1.80 GAA, .941 SV% and 2 shutouts.

He’s also allowed two goals or fewer in six of those games. This season he stopped all 23 shots the Islanders threw his way to earn the team’s first win of the season in a 5-0 rout.

For his career, the Isles are his favorite opponent. In seven starts against them he’s earned more wins (6) and shutouts (2) than any other team he’s faced.

Adam Fox see this stretch as a great challenge

The Rangers leading scorer on defense is looking at this week as a huge challenge for the team. “We’ve got a lot of games here against good teams in the standings,” Fox said after yesterday’s practice. “Big games and big tests for our team.”

Pre-Game Notes

  • All-Time vs Islanders: 131-117-19-9 (74-48-11-6 at home; 57-69-8-3 on the road)
  • The Rangers are playing the Islanders in the third of eight games between the two teams. The Blueshirts have posted a 1-1-0 record and won the last meeting between the two teams, 5-0, on Jan. 16 at MSG. Pavel Buchnevich leads all skaters with three points (two goals, one assist) in the season series, and he and Artemi Panarin are tied for first among all skaters with two goals.
  • Ryan Strome played parts of four seasons with the Islanders (2013-14 – 2016-17) and was selected by the Islanders in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. His next goal will be his 100th in the NHL.
  • Artemi Panarin – 17 GP, 10-15-25 – Panarin tied a single-game career-high with five points (two goals, three assists) on Jan. 13, 2020 against the Islanders at MSG, and he registered two goals in his last game against the Islanders on Jan. 16, 2021 at MSG. Panarin has also registered more points against the Islanders than against any other team in his NHL career.
  • New York ranks fifth in the NHL in power play opportunities per game in 2020-21 (4.10).
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in each of the last three games (14-for-14) and have killed off 17 of their opponents’ 18 power play opportunities over the last four games (94.4%).

Pre-Game Notes courtesy NYR

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