Rangers vs Islanders rematch could feature long awaited Igor Shesterkin vs Ilya Sorokin matchup
Rangers vs Islanders: The Blueshirts will return back to their number one goalie Igor Shesterkin for game two of the set versus the Islanders. On the other side, Barry Trotz will not name his starter as everyone awaits to see if Ilya Sorokin gets the nod.
Both Shesterkin and Sorokin are very close friends and many in the New York hockey community have been waiting for these two to finally face-off. Will Trotz oblige? Don’t bank on it because he’s not interested in stories, “just winning” he told the press today.
Rangers: 19-16-5 (43 pts)
Islanders: 26-11-4 (56 pts)
(7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG 2, Radio: ESPN 1050 AM)
Rangers vs Islanders: Igor Shesterkin back in net; no other lineup changes
Back in the saddle again. Igor Shesterkin will look to bounce back from a tough loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Nassau Coliseum. He will take his 10-9-2 record into “The Barn” and try to come out on the winning side no matter which goalie Trotz puts out there.
Per NYR Stats & Info, this season Shesterkin is tied for 7th in the NHL (min. 20 games played) in SV% (.921), and tied for 9th in GAA (2.44). He leads all rookie net- minders in SV% and ranks 2nd in GAA. “Shesty” as his teammates call him has been excellent for the Rangers with points in four straight (3-0-1) before the loss to the Pens.
Kids line will be key!
Alexis Lafrenière picked up a goal in Quinn’s return behind the bench on March 28th. In the seven games with his head coach back at the controls, the rookie has three goals and four points. More importantly, he’s building a chemistry with fellow kids linemates Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil. Since being put together in the Rangers 8-4 romp of the Penguins three games ago, Lafrenière has two goals, Kakko has four points (1G, 3A), and Chytil has three assists.
In the Rangers 4-1 win, the kids line was a force. Whenever the trio took the ice it looked like the Islanders couldn’t keep up with them. Alexis Lafrenière, all of 19 years old, scored the opening goal assisted by Kaapo Kakko (20) and Filip Chytil (21). They finally broke through on the Islanders tight defense and Semyon Varlamov when Laffy cashed in a rebound.
This line will need to be a key as the Islanders defense will look to clamp down on the Rangers top two lines. Artemi Panarin picked up two assist in the win on Friday night, so expect Trotz to key on him and his line.
Rangers Pre Game Notes
- All-Time vs Islanders: 132-118-19-9 (74-49-11-6 at home; 58-69-8-3 on the road)
- The Rangers have earned a win in seven of their last 11 games against the Islanders (7-4-0 record).
- The Rangers have won each of their last five games at Nassau Coliseum, dating back to Feb. 16, 2015, and the five-game winning streak at the venue is tied for the longest in franchise history.
- New York Rangers – 5 goals away from 20,000 in franchise history
- Kaapo Kakko – 1 game away from 100 in his NHL career/with the Rangers
- Artemi Panarin – 2 games away from 100 with the Rangers; 3 assists away from 300 in his NHL career
Pre Games Notes courtesy NYR
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