Isles, Rangers open up 2021 season with back-to-back matchups

The National Hockey League released its 2021 slate Wednesday, loaded up with plenty of rivalries in a pandemic-shortened season.
The NHL begins Jan. 13 for a 56-game season, where teams are playing only against division rivals. Divisions have also been realigned, with all Canadian teams in one division.
Game times are yet to be announced, but five games will open things up Jan. 13 -- Edmonton-Vancouver, St. Louis-Colorado, Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, Chicago-Tampa Bay and Montreal-Toronto.
Lower New York's hockey teams will see plenty of each other, including back-to-back games at Madison Square Garden Jan. 14 and 16. The Islanders and Rangers will meet eight times over the course of the year.
The Isles are set to play their final regular season game at the Nassau Coliseum May 8 against the Devils.
The Isles are also due to play Boston, New Jersey, Washington and Philadelphia in January. They will only play two homes games in that opening month.
The Rangers follow the Isles with games against the Devils, Sabres and Penguins.
The Devils open 2021 at home against Boston.
The NHL says training camps open Jan. 3. There will be no preseason games.