Final

Series (Game 4 of 6)

New York leads 4-2

Game 1: Monday, October 11th
Rangers4Final
Islanders6
Game 2: Thursday, December 2nd
Rangers6Final
Islanders5
Game 3: Friday, December 3rd
Islanders0Final
Rangers2
Game 4: Monday, December 27th
Islanders2Final
Rangers7
Game 5: Tuesday, March 15th
Islanders3Final
Rangers6
Game 6: Thursday, March 31st
Rangers2Final
Islanders6

Islanders 2

(9-19-6, 24 pts)

Rangers 7

(21-14-2, 44 pts)

Coverage: RDS

7:00 PM ET, December 27, 2010

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 3 T
NYI 2 0 02
NYR 2 2 37

M. Gilroy (Rangers - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

B. Boyle (Rangers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

B. Dubinsky (Rangers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Islanders-Rangers Preview

STATS LLC

An early-winter blizzard probably won't be enough to keep the New York Islanders from traveling to Madison Square Garden. Trying to get a puck past the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist could be a bigger challenge.

Should he start, Lundqvist will be going for his third consecutive home shutout over the Islanders on Monday night.

Lundqvist was last beaten at MSG by an Islander on Dec. 26, 2009, when Kyle Okposo scored in overtime to hand the Rangers a 4-3 loss. On March 24, Lundqvist stopped 27 shots in a 5-0 win, and he extended the scoreless streak Dec. 3 by making 17 saves in 2-0 victory that gave the Rangers (20-14-2) a home-and-home sweep.

"When you have a shutout it means you did a lot of good things. ... It was the easiest shutout this year," said Lundqvist, who is tied with Boston's Tim Thomas for the league lead with five shutouts.

Lundqvist's next one will be the 30th of his career to tie John Roach for third on the Rangers' list behind Dave Kerr (40) and Ed Giacomin (49). He is 7-4-4 with a 2.25 goals-against average at home in his career versus the Islanders.

However, Lundqvist has slumped recently. After losing 4-1 to Philadelphia on Dec. 18, he made 21 saves through overtime of a 4-3 shootout defeat to Tampa Bay on Thursday. Lundqvist allowed goals in first two rounds of the tiebreaker, then denied eight straight attempts before being beaten by Ryan Malone.

"When you lose in the shootout, as a goalie you take it pretty personally," Lundqvist said. "Points are huge in the end, and I wanted to make that extra stop to get the win."

The Rangers are expected to have high-scoring and injury-prone forward Marian Gaborik back after a one-game absence with a sore groin. Gaborik, who has played in just 22 games this season while also dealing with a separated shoulder and the flu, is tied with Artem Anisimov and Dan Girardi for fourth on the team with 19 points.

Since joining the Rangers at the start of last season, Gaborik has seven goals and five assists in eight games against the Islanders. He had a hat trick with an assist in a 6-5 road win over the Islanders on Dec. 2, when Lundqvist stopped nine of 11 shots in relief of an ineffective Martin Biron.

The Rangers will face an improving team this time. After losing 20 of 21 from Oct. 23-Dec. 13, the Islanders (9-18-6) have been playing some of their best hockey of the season.

They won a season high-tying third in a row Sunday, 4-1 over Northeast Division-leading Montreal before an announced crowd of 3,136 after a snowstorm blanketed much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

"Right off the bat, we knew with the storm it was going to be a hard crowd for us," said forward P.A. Parenteau, whose team has outscored the opposition 11-3 during the current win streak while picking up points in each of its last five.

For the Isles to continue those runs, Blake Comeau will need to extend his uncanny success against the Rangers. Of Comeau's 95 career points, 16 -- 10 goals and six assists -- have come in 16 games against the Atlantic rivals.

Dwayne Roloson will also need to continue his turnaround. After going 0-11-1 with a 2.93 GAA during the Isles' long skid, he's won three straight games with a 0.98 GAA.

The 41-year-old Roloson has lost his last three starts against the Rangers.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNNewYork.com