The Islanders have been something of an achilles heel for the Rangers this season. 2-3-1 against the Islanders but 17-3-1 against the rest of the Atlantic division combined. Yes, the Rangers have lost as many games to the Islanders in regulation as they have to the Devils, Flyers, and Penguins combined. So, if you were thinking that a win in the next two games and a playoff clinch for the Blueshirts are a foregone conclusion, you’re wrong. The Islanders will definitely want to play spoiler and they have matched up well against the Rangers this season.
Brendan Shanahan will probably play in the game tonight. Blair Betts may play, but according to Sam Weinman, “Shanahan is more likely than Betts.” Even if Betts does not play tonight, he should be ready to go for tomorrow or Sunday.
Interestingly, the Rangers opted not to hold a morning skate today. I’m not sure why they would change the routine with just 3 games left in the season, but this was a planned move by Renney and co., and perhaps it is an effort to save some energy heading into the upcoming 3 games in 72 hours.