The Carolina Hurricanes take on the New York Islanders in a crucial Metropolitan Division match-up tonight in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. The Hurricanes are fresh off a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night after Sebastian Aho scored the game-winning goal in the third period on the power-play. The Islanders dropped a 5-4 decision to the Detroit Red Wings after defenseman Danny Dekeyser fired a shot that pin-balled past Thomas Greiss with 28 seconds left.
Last night’s regulation loss was the first for the Islanders since former Hurricane Doug Weight took over as head coach after Jack Capuano was fired on Jan. 17. Weight has now coached the Islanders to a 5-1-1 record in his seven games as head coach.
Both teams are locked into a fierce wild-card battle as each team stands at 53 points and five points back of a wild-card spot. The Islanders have one game in hand over the Hurricanes.
The Islanders offense ranks among the best in the league at 9th overall with 2.9 goals per game. As per usual, they are led by the talented John Tavares who has recorded 20 goals and 23 assists for 43 points in 49 games played this season.
Goaltending has been an issue for the Islanders as they allow an average of 2.86 goals per game. Special teams issues have held back the Islanders from their true potential as they rank 25th on the power play and 19th on the penalty kill.
This will be the first of three straight road games for the Hurricanes.
- All aboard the hype train! Sebastian Aho’s goal last night gives him five goals and two assists in his last five games. Aho ranks fourth in rookie scoring.
- The Hurricanes haven’t won a game on the road since January 5th. The last time the two teams met, Carolina topped the Islanders 7-4 at home.
- This is Weight’s first head coaching job at any level. He was an assistant to Capuano for three years before taking over when Garth Snow pulled the trigger in early January.
- John Tavares is coming off his most successful month of the season. Tavares put up 14 points in the month and is coming off a two-point night last night. He had two goals against the Hurricanes in their last meeting.