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Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders: Game Preview

That post-playoff clinching buzz will only last for so long.

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck /NHLI via Getty Images

Because life is funny like that, the Carolina Hurricanes clinched their fourth straight postseason appearance after coming back from a 2-0 deficit to the Buffalo Sabres, who, incidentally, have now missed the playoffs for eleven seasons in a row. It’s not a game that you particularly want to have to grind out, but the Hurricanes made it work, with three third period goals to seal the deal.

After dragging the team to a win against an opponent who shouldn’t have been so challenging, the Hurricanes don’t have much time to rest before they get back at it, this time facing off against another team that’s struggled this season.

The visiting New York Islanders have had a tough season, dealing with injuries, an epic road trip to start their season, players underperforming, and of course, COVID. They’ve improved their play as of late, turning in four straight wins, including one over the playoff-bound New York Rangers. Their streak was stopped on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, and now they look to continue their road trip by getting back in the win column.

Even though the Islanders have struggled this season, you still know what you’re going to get with Barry Trotz hockey. The team leads hard on their veteran players and while they may not exactly play fun hockey, when they’re on top of their game, they’re very effective.

Let’s see how these two teams compare before puck drop:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • These teams haven’t met since opening night, where the Hurricanes turned in a 6-3 win. There’s one more meeting to close out the season series — the Hurricanes check out the Islanders’ new home on April 24.
  • Zach Parise is the only player on the Islanders to have played in all 69 games this season.
  • Max Domi is still searching for his 100th career NHL goal. When he hits that marker, he and father Tie will be the 19th father-son duo in the league to each score at least 100 goals.
  • Jordan Staal has four points in his last two games. Someone must really like playing Buffalo.
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau has eight points in his last eight games, and four goals in his last two games.
  • With Antti Raanta getting the start yesterday, Freddie Andersen is expected to start. He is 8-2-1 against the Islanders in his career, with a 0.904 save percentage and 2.88 goals against average.
  • Trotz is being typically hush-hush about who will start in net, simply revealing that both Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin will get into games in this back-to-back for the Islanders. Sorokin has been out since March 27.
  • Sorokin has one career game against the Hurricanes, that being the 6-3 win for the Hurricanes at the start of the season. (One of those goals was an empty net.) Varlamov has a 5-3-4 record over Carolina in the course of his career (2.29 goals against average and 0.925 save percentage).