Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Islanders beat Rangers in exhibition game; Shesterkin starts, but Lundqvist plays

The Islanders edged the Rangers 2-1 in a return-to-play exhibition battle between New York teams.

The New York Islanders took care of business in a 2-1 exhibition win against the Rangers on Wednesday.

For the most part, the Islanders succeeded as you might expect. They seized on Rangers mistakes, making it difficult for the Blueshirts to get much going.

Rangers start Shesterkin, Varlamov gets nod for Islanders in exhibition

When the Rangers did manage to get things going, they didn’t have a whole lot of luck. Semyon Varlamov made the play(s) of the game with some impressive saves. It seems like the Isles’ net is Varlamov’s to lose, although Thomas Greiss also saw action during the latter portion of the 2-1 win.

Varlamov stopped all 19 shots he saw in two periods of action, while Greiss gave up one Filip Chytil goal.

For whatever it’s worth, Igor Shesterkin started for the Rangers, who eventually also brought Henrik Lundqvist into the action. Each goalie allowed one goal, with Lundqvist having a busier night overall.

From my vantage point, Lundqvist looked pretty sharp, although he’d probably want that Devon Toews game-winner back. It would be foolish to put too much stock in an exhibition game, anyway, but Lundqvist performed admirably.

The Rangers need to tighten things up as they’ll face a tough opponent in the Hurricanes on Saturday. The Islanders, meanwhile, must hope that they see the same Panthers effort as Florida burped up in getting thumped by the Lightning.

2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedules for Rangers and Islanders

(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers

Saturday, Aug. 1: Rangers vs. Hurricanes, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Monday, Aug. 3: Rangers vs. Hurricanes, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes vs. Rangers, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Thursday, Aug. 6: Hurricanes vs. Rangers*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Rangers vs. Hurricanes*

(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers

Saturday, Aug. 1: Panthers vs. Islanders, 4 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Panthers vs. Islanders, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Islanders vs. Panthers, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders vs. Panthers*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Panthers vs. Islanders*

More on the NHL Return to Play:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.