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Canes at Islanders Game Preview

Time to change gears from the bus crash and think about hockey again for a bit. The Hurricanes are up north on Long Island to take on the worst team in the NHL, the New York Islanders. The poor Islanders only have 40 points so far this season, lowest by far in the league. But still, if you think this is going to be a guaranteed two points, think again. While they lost at Madison Square Garden last night, the Isles have a 4-0-1 record in their last five games at home.

The Canes have lost three in a row at home, but strangely enough have won three in a row as visitors including their last road game at Buffalo. If they win again tonight, it will be the first time in three years the team has won four in a row on the road. The Canes currently sit in 9th place in the East, five points behind both the Sabres and the Panthers.

The last time these two teams met at the Nassau Coliseum on October 25th, the Canes won 4-3 even though the Islanders put 60 shots on goalie Cam Ward. The Hurricanes defense will need to be better tonight, but will be playing a bit banged up. Joni Pitkanen will miss the game due to an upper body injury and Niclas Wallin is questionable. Tim Gleason is expected to return but is battling a hand injury so he could also be a game time decision. Utility man Tim Conboy has been called up from Albany to help out.

Canes Now is reporting that Sergei Samsonov may miss the game as well. If so, the forwards will be depleted as he would join Justin Williams and Scott Walker on the sidelines. Michael Ryan had already been called up, but if Samsonov does not play they will still be short a forward. Although If Wallin and Gleason both play, then Maurice could use seven defensemen. We will have a "Live Game Thread" at 7PM tonight and will update the lineup at that time.

It is unknown at the moment who will be in goal. Carolina has a back-to-back scenario and will return to Raleigh to take on Tampa Bay tomorrow night. Will Cam Ward get a break for one of these games and if he does which one will it be? If we find out who is starting before game time, we will update that news right here.

Cam Ward will start tonight's game.

Light House Hockey is the SBN authority on the Islanders, so check them out if you have the chance. Doug Weight is still out but Mark Streit has returned. They feel that Joey MacDonald will be in net.

2008 - Joey MacDonald 40 2293 12 23 4 6 123 3.22 1269 1146 .903 0

Game time will be at 7 tonight and it will be broadcast locally by FS Carolinas. Will the Hurricanes performance tonight entice you to purchase some playoff tickets?

We will have the "Live Game Thread" up and running sometime before the puck drops.