The New York Rangers will host the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on Thursday in each team’s 2020-21 NHL season opener.
The game starts at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on MSG (locally in Islanders and Rangers markets) and NHL Network (nationally). But if you don’t have cable, here’s how you can watch a live stream of the Islanders vs Rangers online:
Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
Note: FuboTV is the only streaming service that has MSG, NHL Network and a free trial
You can watch a live stream of MSG (in local markets), NHL Network and 130-plus other TV channels on FuboTV. MSG is in the main channel package, while NHL Network is in the “Sports Plus” add-on. Both of those can be included in your free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch the Islanders vs Rangers live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV also comes with cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch the game on-demand within three days of its conclusion, even if you don’t record it.
Note: MSG is not included with Sling TV. Only NHL Network
You can watch a live stream of NHL Network and 45-plus other TV channels via Sling TV’s “Sling Orange” plus “Sports Extra” bundle or “Sling Blue” plus “Sports Extra” bundle. It’s the cheapest streaming service with NHL Network, plus you can get $10 off your first month, and get Showtime, Starz, and Epix included for free:
Once signed up for Sling TV, you can watch the Islanders vs Rangers live on the Sling TV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Android TV, airTV Mini, Oculus, Portal, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch the game on your computer via the Sling TV website.
If you can’t watch live, Sling TV comes included with 10 hours of cloud DVR.
Islanders vs Rangers Preview
The Islanders had a quiet offseason, opting against a splash and instead handing out long-term deals to players that keyed their surprise run to the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals: Forwards Mathew Barzal and Matt Martin as well as defenseman Ryan Pulock returned on multiyear pacts.
Barzal led the team with 60 points in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign, followed by fellow forwards Brock Nelson (54), Anders Lee (48), Josh Bailey (43) and Jordan Eberle (40), all of whom are locked into contracts through 2023 or beyond.
Lee, the team’s captain, signed a seven-year contract worth $49 million back in July 2019.
“I think we have an opportunity here to do something that we all want to do and that we’ve been working together for a very long time together,” Lee said, according to Newsweek. “We’ve come up and been through a lot and I don’t think anyone is going to be satisfied with not doing what we set out to do. That’s what this is all about, really, to be able to deal with the guys that you’ve been in the trenches with for a really long time.
“That’s what makes this journey one you really want to finish off.”
The Rangers triumphed three times in four meetings with the Islanders last year, including once in overtime, to push their all-time lead in the rivalry to 149–136–19–9.
“There’s nothing better in sports, in my opinion. Playing for the Leafs and playing at Montreal, nothing ever really felt quite like an Islander-Ranger game,” Martin said, per Newsweek. “To me, it’s the best. They’re a good team and we’ve got to be ready for them.”
The Rangers, coming off an exit in the postseason’s qualifying round, said farewell to a trio of long-time Blueshirts over the offseason, buying out 2012 Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist, trading defenseman Marc Staal and letting forward Jesper Fast walk.
They hit on their 12.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, however, taking consensus top prospect Alexis Lafrenière, a 19-year-old forward out of the QMJHL.
“You forget how young he is because he carries himself with such maturity,” Rangers forward Chris Kreider said of Lafrenière, according to the New York Post.
“I’ve played with him a bunch and the skill is very, very evident. He’s got the [puck] on a string, sees the ice incredibly well, [his] head’s up. The one thing that really struck me from the last few weeks is that he’s not an immature kid. He carries himself with that level of maturity, but he’s a lot thicker than the normal 18- or 19-year-old kid.”
The Islanders and Rangers will meet at Madison Square again two days after Thursday’s tilt.
Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. has affiliate relationships with various streaming content providers and may receive a commission if you sign up for a service via a link on this page.