With the Rangers season just hovering in limbo, head coach Gerard Gallant has thrown the lines into a blender in attempts to spark the season (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsIslanders
14thNHL Standing Rank9th

Previous Game

               The Rangers dropped their second straight game by the score of 3-2 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings. Things got off to a good start when Kaapo Kakko gave the Rangers an early lead which was followed by a Mika Zibanejad power-play goal. The Blueshirts exited the first period with a 2-0 lead in what was arguably one of their most dominant periods of the season.

               But things would take a turn and unexplainedly the play in the Rangers dipped. After the second period, the lead the Rangers built in the first period had evaporated and once again they entered the third period tied. In overtime, K’Andre Miller took a penalty and the Red Wings capitalized on a 4-3 power-play to complete the comeback.

               Jaroslav Halak made his fourth start as a Ranger and he remains winless. However, this was easily Halak’s best game as a member of the Rangers and he was the sole reason the Rangers got a point. Halak made multiple point-blank saves including a game-saving save in the final minute of regulation.

               The goal that irked many was Detroit’s second goal. Detroit came down on a 3-2 and were able to capitalize on the third attempt after Halak made two solid saves. What wasn’t okay was the fact that the Rangers made an egregious line change that you wouldn’t make in peewee hockey. Had the Blueshirts not gone for a change, then there is a good chance that the puck doesn’t enter the net.


               In the third period, Gallant mixed up the lines and most notably demoted Chris Kreider to the fourth line.

               “He deserved to be where he [Kreider] was at,” Gallant said following Sunday night’s game.

               Kreider will open on a line different from longtime linemate Zibanejad. Kreider practiced on a line with Filip Chytil and Vitaly Kravtsov as practice. This might signal the return of Kravtsov to the lineup as he has played in just four games this season due to various injuries. Zibanejad will feature on the top line with Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko. Kakko has been one of the Blueshirts most consistent players. Vincent Trocheck will play on a line with Jimmy Vesey and Alexis Lafreniere. Ryan Reaves is projected to be a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

               “I want everybody to be better,” said Gallant after practice on Monday. “Chris Kreider has to pull his weight instead of going the other way, that’s what we need from our leaders.” Gallant told the media he has to hold everyone accountable including his top players and that he is not happy with how the team is playing.


               The Rangers will play their crosstown rivals in a rivalry where the team from Long Island has gotten the better of the rivalry. With Gallant wanting a complete sixty-minute game at a high-level, it won’t be easy as the Islanders seem to be even better than in years past. The Islanders missed the playoff last year but that can be attributed to an extremely long road trip as their new arena was getting ready and due to COVID-19 heavily impacting their team. Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello believed that was the case and made no splash moves in free agency and just elected to lock up his own players to future contracts.

               What makes the Islanders more dangerous this year is their ability to score goals. Long Island has always been good at keeping the puck out of the net since hiring Barry Trotz. The Islanders parted ways with Trotz this past offseason and hired his longtime assistant, Lane Lambert. While many didn’t expect much to change – especially on defense, their offense to start the season has been significantly better than in years past. The Islanders currently average the tenth month goals per game. If they can keep this up, the Islanders will be a real scary and dark horse team this season.

               Brock Nelson is tied for the team lead in points with 14. Nelson currently has eight points in his last six games. Mathew Barzal also has 14 points on the season but he has yet to record a goal. And Anders Lee is currently hovering at 13 points in 13 games.

Goaltending Matchup

               Igor Shesterkin will be back in net after getting a rest on Sunday. Shesterkin was not in net against the Islanders in their first meeting this season which resulted in a 3-0 Islanders win. Shesterkin’s longtime friend Ilya Sorokin made 41 saves in a shutout on that night. But the Blueshirts won’t have to see Sorokin on Tuesday as the Islanders played on Monday night and Sorokin made the start. Instead, it is highly likely the Rangers will play Russian netminder Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov currently has a .909 save percentage on the season.

Projected Lineup








No Starting Goalie determined yet.


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