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:
Ross Johnston stayed out late after #Isles optional morning skate so this would be tonight's expected lineup:— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 22, 2022
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:
After tonight’s #Isles - #NYR match, @MSGNetworks is premiering “The Santa Brawl - A Holiday Tale” recounting the events of the Dec. 23, 2003 game Nassau Coliseum between the Isles and Flyers and what happened to the Rangers fans who dressed as Santa for free admission. pic.twitter.com/AKqHAFloum— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 22, 2022