The Carolina Hurricanes are one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals, as they look to maintain their perfect record at home in the postseason on Friday night at PNC Arena.
With a chance to put the New York Islanders away for good, captain Justin Williams, who has been a part of an 0-3 comeback in the playoffs, has stressed the urgency that the Canes must possess.
The Hurricanes are expected to stick with the same lineup that played in Wednesday’s win.
Curtis McElhinney will return between the pipes for his second career playoff start in relief of Petr Mrazek, who started the first nine post-season games. Mrazek skated again today but is ruled out for tonight’s game.
The Canes are still expected to be without Micheal Ferland (upper body) due to injury. Carolina hopes to build upon the offensive game they established in Game 3, as Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho led the way with a pair of points each in Game 3 (Teravainen - Two goals, Aho - One goal, one assist).
Below is what Rod Brind’Amour will toss out in what should be a raucous environment:
Warren Foegele - Sebastian Aho - Justin Williams
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Brock McGinn
Jordan Martinook - Greg McKegg - Patrick Brown
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce - Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury - Calvin de Haan
Injuries and Scratches: Micheal Ferland (upper body), Saku Maenalanen (hand surgery), Clark Bishop (healthy), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Petr Mrazek (lower body), Jake Bean (healthy)
The New York Islanders face elimination for the first time this postseason, but have committed to not giving up in what they have seen as three tightly contested games to begin the series. They finally managed to put together a bit more time in the offensive zone in Game 3, but ultimately their powerplay tally in the first and equalizing goal from Josh Bailey off a turnover in the second period only served to get them back even with the Canes in each case. Not playing with a lead has been difficult for a team that has prided itself on air-tight, defensively sound hockey all season.
There has been discussion of a number of lineup changes that could be possible as the Isles search for answers and deal with the typical nagging injuries that comes with the territory of the playoffs. Barry Trotz has been tight-lipped as to what those may be, but some are of the opinion that Vezina-finalist Robin Lehner may be sat in favor of Thomas Greiss in net.
Islanders did not skate this morning. Coach Barry Trotz scheduled to speak to media at 4:45 p.m.— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) May 3, 2019
Trotz said yesterday that he's considering changes "at all positions."
My guess (only a guess) is Greiss starts.
Also guessing Trotz won't reveal starter pre-game.
The 33-year-old Greiss was 3-1 against the Canes this season (8-4-1 in his career) while allowing just seven total goals in the four contests. Perhaps that change could spark the Isles, but ultimately their fate will rest on their ability to rack up goals on the other end. Below is what can be projected for the Isles lineup:
Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Josh Bailey - Brock Nelson - Tom Kuhnhackl
Anthony Beauvillier - Valtteri Filppula - Leo Komarov
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Thomas Hickey
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield
Injuries and Scratches: Johnny Boychuk (lower body), Andrew Ladd (torn ACL), Tanner Fritz(hand surgery), Luca Sbisa (healthy), Ross Johnson (healthy), Dennis Seidenberg (healthy), Michael Dal Colle (healthy)
Also, our newest shirt was released earlier today! As with the earlier one, all proceeds will be benefit the CC travel fund. Stick it to Brock Nelson with this beauty: