MetLife Stadium awaits as the New York Rangers and New York Islanders square off

Feb 12, 2024; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Preparations at MetLife Stadium for this weekend's Stadium
Feb 12, 2024; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Preparations at MetLife Stadium for this weekend's Stadium / NorthJersey.com-USA TODAY Sports
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It's finally here. We're going to see the New York Rangers return to the outdoor arena as they play at MetLife Stadium. It'll be the battle of New York in New Jersey. It's a little weird, but taking a page from the NFL's script writers, this is going to be a good, physical game. When the Rangers are at their best, they are a high-flying offensive team, but the stingy Islanders defense is going to make this a challenge.

Matt Rempe is expected to make his NHL debut. Playing on the right-wing beside Adam Edstrom and Barclay Goodrow. This debut is set to come six years after his father was suddenly taken away from the then 15-year-old due to a heart attack. A bitter-sweet anniversary. The 21-year-old was taken in the sixth round of the 2020 NHL Entry draft, and at 6'8, 240 lbs, he's a big guy who will try to be a big presence on the ice.

With Blake Wheeler done for at least the remainder of the regular season, Jimmy Vesey is set to take his place on the top line beside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad in an effort to give Ranger fans a sense of deja vu with a line from the times before "The Letter". Vesey has played very well this season and has thoroughly earned his chance on the top line beside the two big guys at the top of the lineup.

Between the pipes, we are set to see the return of Igor Shesterkin. He's not played since his duel with Jacob Markstrom in the game against Calgary that saw the Blueshirts take a 2-0 win from that game, but the extra rest means that he will be fresh to oppose his Russian counterpart in the Islanders net in Ilya Sorokin.

Projected Lineups

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Jimmy Vesey
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle - Jonny Brodzinski - Kaapo Kakko
Adam Edstrom - Barclay Goodrow - Matt Rempe
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller - Jacob Trouba
Erik Gustafsson - Braden Schneider
Igor Shesterkin
Jonathan Quick

New York Islanders

Anders Lee - Bo Horvat - Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Alexander Romanov - Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Mike Reilly - Scott Mayfield
Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

Puck Drop

This puck drop will be a little after 3:00 from the home of the Giants and Jets. MetLife stadium will see the Rangers return to the outdoor scene for the first time since 2017. The only player on the roster to play in that game? Mika Zibanejad. Kreider was on the roster but was away from the team recovering from a blood clotting problem. Seeing him back in the out