The race to win the Metropolitan Division came down to the final day and so now the Carolina Hurricanes will face the New York Islanders who have one of the best goaltenders in the league, Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin ranks fourth among all goaltenders with a .924 save percentage and eighth in league with a 2.34 GAA.
The Islanders also expect to have their top forward, Mathew Barzal, back to start the series. Barzal has been out since February 18th and in 58 games this season he has 14 goals and 37 assists, totaling 51 points. The Isles have had limited time on the ice with both Barzal and deadline acquisition Bo Horvat.
The Islanders’ biggest weakness comes on the man advantage. Their power play ranks 30th in the league at just 15.8%. That is 0.1% better than the Anaheim Ducks, the worst team in the league and the 31st-ranked power play.
The Isles struggle to score but also have one of the best all-around defenses surrendering just 2.64 goals against per game. That ranks fifth in the league and could be an issue for the Canes that have struggled to score since losing Andrei Svechnikov.
- Carolina is facing New York in the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. The Hurricanes earned a 4-0 series sweep of the Islanders in the 2019 Eastern Conference Second Round.
- The Hurricanes won the season series 3-1-0 in 2022-23, and they are 9-2-0 in the teams’ last 11 regular-season matchups dating back to 1/8/19.
- Since taking over as Carolina’s head coach, Rod Brind’Amour has led the team to a 226-107-37 record and five consecutive playoff appearances. The Hurricanes became the second team to win the Metro in back-to-back seasons. Carolina has won a playoff series in each of Brind’Amour’s first four seasons behind the bench.
- Martin Necas registered a team-high 71 points (28g, 43a) in 82 games with Carolina this season, setting new career highs in goals, assists, points, even-strength goals (19), even-strength points (44), power-play goals (9), power-play points (26), overtime goals (4), multi-assist games (10) and multi-point games (18).
- Brent Burns recorded 61 points (18g, 43a) in his first season with Carolina in 2022-23, setting the Hurricanes' single-season record for points by a defenseman and marking the fourth-most points by any blueliner in a single campaign in franchise history.
- Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders Series Preview: Forwards, Power Play
- Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders Series Preview: Defensemen, Penalty Kill
- Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders Series Preview: Goaltending
- Aho, Raanta, Martinook, Burns selected for end-of-year team awards
- 2023 CC Playoff Pick ‘Em: Round 1
- In case you needed to get any more hype...
- The 25th anniversary threads will be sticking around just a little bit longer.
Introducing our helmet partner for the 2023 Playoffs pic.twitter.com/Rsv9QzTiR3— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) April 14, 2023
- The Hurricanes are also encouraging all fans to wear red.
- Writers roundtable ahead of the playoffs. [NHL]
- Postseason notebook ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders series. [Canes.com]
- Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders round one preview. [NHL].
- Are the New York Islanders a bad matchup for the Carolina Hurricanes? [$The Athletic]
- The 25 most memorable moments in Carolina Hurricanes history. [WRAL Sports Fan]