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New York Islanders at Rangers: The third and final(?!) meeting [Game #34]

The Islanders visit the friendly confines of the World’s Most Self-Promoting Arena.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
Hooked ‘em? No, no, encouraged him.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tonight the Islanders conclude their five-game road stretch with the first half of a back-to-back to close out the pre-Christmas schedule.

It’s a 7 p.m. start at the Garden vs. the Rangers tonight, followed by 7:30 vs. the Panthers in Elmont on Friday.

The injury situation remains unchanged — Kyle Palmieri, Adam Pelech, Semyon Varlamov, Cal Clutterbuck all out — so the lineup is not mysterious:

In goal, it should be a Igor Shesterkin vs. Ilya Sorokin battle.

The Rangers’ recent surge has brought them level with the Islanders on wins (18), and ahead on points (41 to 38, via three more OTLs), so the Smurfs are temporarily a Foe of Concern once again. This is a big one, and a regulation win for the Isles would taste oh so sweet.

Also, the Capitals are now level with the Isles on points, though with one more game played.

No matter how the game goes, here’s a reason to stay tuned in afterward: