for this game

Rangers try to solve Islanders at Coliseum

Jan 27, 2015 - 3:58 PM ( - The New York Rangers will try to get on the board in their season series against the rival New York Islanders when the Metropolitan Division foes square off Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders, who sit atop the Metro standings with 63 points, are 2-0 against the Rangers this season, picking up a pair of road victories at Madison Square Garden. One of those wins came on Jan. 13, when All-Star goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves to anchor a 3-0 Isles' victory.

The three remaining meetings in 2014-15 between the Blueshirts and Isles will take place on Long Island, which the latter team will call home for only a few more months. The Islanders, of course, are moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after this season.

The Rangers have won three straight at the Coliseum and boast a 13-7-1 road record this season.

Tonight's showdown is the first tilt for both teams following the NHL's All- Star break. The Islanders won five of six outings prior to the hiatus, while the Rangers carried a three-game winning streak into the break.

The Isles, who lead Pittsburgh by three points for first place and are five ahead of the third-place Rangers, last played on Jan. 19 when they recorded a 7-4 win over visiting Philadelphia.

Nikolay Kulemin recorded two goals and an assist in the victory over the Flyers, while Halak turned aside 25 shots for the win.

"I'm very pleased up until this point with our hockey club," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. "We've done a lot of good things, not only winning hockey games, but how we are winning games."

Halak, who played in Sunday's All-Star Game, is expected to start tonight. He is 9-4-0 with a 2.54 goals against average in 14 career games against the Rangers.

The win over Philly kicked off a three-game homestand for the Isles, who boast a 16-4-0 record as the host during their final campaign on Long Island. They will complete the residency Thursday against Boston.

The Isles will begin their post-All-Star slate without the services of forward Kyle Okposo, who is expected to be sidelined for the next 6-to-8 weeks due to an upper-body injury. With 44 points this season, Okposo is second only to John Tavares for the team lead.

The Rangers own an 8-2-0 record over the last 10 games and both losses during that span came via 3-0 losses. After losing 3-0 to the Isles on Jan. 13, the club fell by the same score two days later in Boston but the Blueshirts followed with consecutive wins over Columbus, Pittsburgh and Ottawa.

Alain Vigneault's club entered the All-Star break with last Tuesday's overtime win against visiting Ottawa.

Carl Hagelin's goal with 2:05 remaining in the extra session handed the Rangers a 3-2 win. Hagelin added an assist in regulation to help the Rangers pick up their 16th win in 19 outings.

Henrik Lundqvist aided New York's cause with a 33-save effort, with Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider also registering goals in the triumph.

"It's definitely a character win," Kreider said. "We probably didn't have the start we wanted. We had a few lulls, but it says a lot about the leadership in the room that we were able to gather ourselves and be ready to play."

The Blueshirts, who lead Washington by one point for third place in the Metro, are on the road for just one game before playing their next four at MSG. The Rangers are set to kick off the homestand Thursday against Montreal.

Lundqvist is expected to start tonight for the Rangers. He is 29-14-5 with a 2.19 GAA in his career against the Isles.