June 3, 2023

The New York Rangers (6-4-3) will be aiming to defeat their crosstown rival, the New York Islanders (8-5-0), at Madison Square Garden tonight. Through 13 games, they have been inconsistent with back-to-back disappointing performances on their home ice. After this game, they only have one home contest before Nov. 26 and will aim to further improve on the road. Head coach Gerard Gallant is seeking to jumpstart the team as he jumbled the lines during the Nov. 6 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Here’s our gameday preview.

New York Rangers Projected Lines


Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Kaapo Kakko

Jimmy Vesey – Vincent Trocheck – Alexis Lafreniere

Chris Kreider – Filip Chytil – Vitali Kravtsov

Sammy Blais – Barclay Goodrow – Ryan Carpenter/Ryan Reaves


K’Andre Miller – Adam Fox

Zac Jones – Jacob Trouba

Libor Hajek – Braden Schneider


Igor Shesterkin – Jaroslav Halak

Gallant Experiments With Line Changes Amidst Team’s Struggles

One of the biggest surprises made by Gallant during the game against the Red Wings was moving Kreider to the fourth line.

Chris Kreider New York Rangers
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The head coach commented on the demotion of one of the franchise’s top players, “you’re responsible to get your team to play better and that’s what I want. We always point out Chris Kreider went to the fourth line [Sunday] night. Well, he did, but we switched a lot of the lines around. Today at practice, you mix and match your lines a little bit because I want everybody to be better. Not just Chris Kreider. He’s got to be one of our leaders and he’s got to pull his weight instead of going the other way. That’s what we need from our players, our leaders, our top players. They’ve got to lead our team when we’re not playing well. … It’s got to start at the top,” (from ‘Rangers hope to get Chris Kreider going with lineup drop as changes continue,’ New York Post, 11/7/22).

Related: Onus On Gerard Gallant to Get Rangers Going

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Based on the combinations during practice on Nov. 7, they will be fluid during tonight’s game as Gallant aims for Kreider to play well enough to put him back on the top line. Kravtsov will return after being injured during the Oct. 29 contest against the Dallas Stars and be looking to remain healthy so he can remain in the lineup regularly. Ryan Lindgren, who sustained an upper-body injury during the Nov. 3 game versus the Boston Bruins, will miss this evening’s game.

New York Islanders Projected Lines


Anders Lee – Brock Nelson – Mathew Barzal

Zach Parise – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Kyle Palmieri

Anthony Beauvillier – Josh Bailey – Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck/Ross Johnston/Nikita Soshnikov


Alexander Romanov – Noah Dobson

Adam Pelech – Ryan Pulock

Sebastian Aho – Scott Mayfield


Seymon Varlamov – Ilya Sorokin

Lambert Changes Lines, Islanders Rally Back With OT Win

Head coach Lane Lambert altered the line combinations over the course of the Nov. 7 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames. It is possible he keeps the changes he made for the start of tonight’s game or reverts back to them during the course of the contest. Barzal had three assists during the most recent win, including on the game-winning power-play goal scored by Dobson. He commented after the victory on being placed with Lee and Nelson, “it felt nice. Lee’s a horse. He was doing his thing. And then with Brock [Nelson], he’s really good at getting open for shots and stuff, and I think that’s how we created our second goal, so yeah, I thought there was some chemistry there.”

Players To Watch

New York Rangers – Chris Kreider

After Gallant moved Kreider to the bottom six last game, it may be what ultimately breaks him from his slump. The club’s inconsistent play will generate line changes in an effort to get them back to winning games consistently. With a good game, the Rangers’ core player will find his way back into the top six.

New York Islanders – Mathew Barzal

Barzal has 14 assists in 13 games but has yet to tally a goal this year. He has finished with more assists than goals each season by a significant margin over the course of his career and is one of the Islanders’ top playmakers. He had an assist during the Oct. 26 shutout victory over the Rangers.

Tonight’s game has a 7:00 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on MSG.

*Rangers lines from @MollieeWalkerr on Twitter. Islanders lines from @stefen_rosner on Twitter.

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