New York Islanders (9-19-7) @ New York Rangers (16-17-2)
Friday, December 20, 2013 | 7 p.m.
Madison Square Garden | New York, New York
NEW YORK — The Islanders are back in action tonight taking on the Rival Rangers at MSG. This is the second of five meetings between the New York Rivals and it is the first of three meetings at the Garden.
The last time the Islanders and Rangers played, the Blue Shirts came back from a 2-1 Islander lead to win 3-2 in regulation.
Both teams are desperate for points coming into tonight’s game. The Islanders are 1-2-2 in their last five games and the Rangers have gone 1-3-1 in that same span. The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Penguins on Wednesday, while the Islanders are also looking to rebound from a shootout loss of their own that occurred on Tuesday.
Evgeni Nabokov will be back in net for the Islanders.This will be Nabokov’s third start since returning from a groin injury last week. The Rangers will send Henrik Lundqvist to guard the net.
The Islanders are inserting Matt Carkner back into the lineup. He has been a scratch for the Isles for the last three games.
“For me it was just the chance to watch a couple of games and refocus,” Carkner said following the Isles morning skate. “For me my game is not gunna change. I’m just gunna try to do my job. Be a physical presence , move the puck and let the forwards do their jobs.”
In addition Casey Cizikas will return to the Islanders lineup.
“You never wanna miss a game against these guys,” Cizikas said about playing the Rangers. “These games are fun and every time we play them something exciting happens. From my very first game in the NHL against these guys till now, nothing has changed.”