NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Monday’s matchup between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
After opening the season against each other by splitting a two-game set, in which each club pitched a shutout, the “Battle of New York” continues Monday with the third of eight matchups this season. The Islanders and Rangers enter this game with identical 4-4-2 records through 10 games and sit sixth and seventh, respectively, in the East Division.
The Rangers enter this game on a four-game point streak (3-0-1) after a 4-2 win over the Capitals on Thursday. This came after a four-game losing streak for during their 1-4-1 start to the season. Not dissimilar to what the Rangers have done, the Islanders are now hoping to turn a losing streak into a winning one. Those two postponed games against the Sabres last week may have given the Islanders the rest they needed as they snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday with a 4-3 home win over the Penguins – after having not played since almost a week earlier on Jan. 31.
While Trotz’s arrival to New York saw an immediate reversal on the defensive end of the ice (the Islanders became the second team in NHL history to go from allowing the most goals in one season – 2017-18 the year prior to his arrival – to the fewest the next), goal-scoring has been a bit of an issue early on this year. The Islanders have been outscored 27-23 this season, for 2.30 goals/game average which ranks 29th in the NHL.
The Rangers made the modified postseason last year but were swept in the Qualifying Round by the Hurricanes. That defeat put them in play for the top pick in the Draft Lottery – which they won and selected consensus top prospect Alexis Lafreniere. It took seven games for the 19-year-old to find the scoresheet but Jan. 28 at Buffalo he registered his first NHL point when he scored the overtime winner – becoming the first-ever No. 1 pick in league history to score his first career goal in overtime. That remains his only point this season.
WHAT: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
WHERE: Madison Square Garden
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN (*Blacked out in local market)
ON THE CALL: John Forslund, Pierre McGuire
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Islanders-Rangers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich
Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko
Alexis Lafreniere – Brett Howden – Phil Di Giuseppe
Brendan Lemieux – Kevin Rooney – Julien Gauthier
Starting goalie: Igor Shesterkin
Starting goalie: Semyon Varlamov