After getting their doors blown off 5-0 by the Rangers at Madison Square Garden last Wednesday, the Islanders get another crack at them tonight on home turf in the last game between the two rivals this season.
The Islanders have their second chance in one week to seriously hamper the Rangers playoff chances. The Rangers are currently 4 points out of 8th place in the East and tonight could be a game-changer given Boston and Atlanta also play as well.
"We definitely want to come out hard," alternate captain Kyle Okposo said. "We all know what happened last week."
Bruno Gervais is not on the ice for Islanders, so figure Mark Flood in his stead. However, the Islanders will return Andrew MacDonald to bolster a depleted defensive corps. This will be MacDonald's first game back since suffering a broken bone in his foot March 2.
Sean Avery and Ryan Callahan are out for the Rangers.
Rangers coach John Tortorella essentially said the Islanders' clunker from last week was an aberration and that he's expecting more from them tonight.
"I think the last game, you just throw that out," Tortorella said. "We know they're a better team [than that], we know how well-coached they are and not only do they want to get in, but I'm sure they'd like to knock us out."
Long Island's own Matt Gilroy will not be in the lineup tonight; D-man Anders Eriksson will play in his place.