Carolina carries its four-game win streak into its matchup with the New York Islanders tonight at historic Nassau Coliseum (“NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum presented by New York Community Bank” is a mouthful, don’t ya think?).
The Hurricanes made some pre-game news as they recalled defenseman Dan Renouf from the Checkers to add some depth on defense, but early lineup projections didn’t have him listed as a starter. The Canes have been tight-lipped about why Renouf was recalled, and it seems possible that a defenseman was shaken up at the morning skate. We may not know until after the warmup which six defensemen will suit up tonight.
Curtis McElhinney (9-5-1, .923 SV) will start in net tonight after giving up two goals on 24 shots against the Blue Jackets on Friday. He’s allowed two or fewer goals in his past three starts.
The lines appear to be tweaked a bit. Rod Brind’Amour is reverting back to the second line of Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook, and the third and fourth C spots are flipped as Greg McKegg centers the third line and Victor Rask drops to the fourth.
Here’s what we’ll see, according to Hurricanes.com projections:
Brock McGinn - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Micheal Ferland - Greg McKegg - Justin Williams
Warren Foegele - Victor Rask - Saku Maenalanen
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Dougie Hamilton
The Islanders lost John Tavares, and somehow are playing like they didn’t need him anyways. They currently hold the fourth spot in the Metropolitan table (only four points behind the division-leading Capitals and hold a wild card spot at the midway point of the season.
If the Islanders win tonight, they’ll complete a season sweep of the Canes for the first time since 2011-12. They face a quandary in net: do they play the white-hot Robin Lehner (the league’s third star of the week last week) or the Hurricanes killer Thomas Greiss (12-7-1, .917 SV). Greiss has allowed only three goals on 112 shots in his three prior starts against the Canes this year, so he figures to be a challenge for the surging Carolina offense - if he plays. Barry Trotz wouldn’t confirm anything this morning, so stay tuned - this will be another warmup revelation.
Here are the projected lines, according to NHL.com:
Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier - Mathew Barzal - Josh Bailey
Michael Dal Colle - Leo Komarov - Joshua Ho-Sang
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield