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Game 4 Preview: Islanders vs. Hurricanes

Canes looking to complete Second Round sweep

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs game previews are presented by Visit Raleigh.


The Carolina Hurricanes aim to complete a Second Round series sweep of the New York Islanders when the two Metropolitan Division foes square off in Game 4 on Friday.

The Hurricanes moved within a win of advancing to the Eastern Conference Final with a 5-2 win over the Islanders, who swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the First Round, in Game 3 on Wednesday.

"It's been a lot of fun, and we're definitely not done," Jordan Martinook said. "You've just got to keep your foot on the gas and keep going."

Lessons from Game 3

Though they had a 2-0 series lead coming back home, the Hurricanes knew they had not yet played their best game in the Second Round.

They played fairly close to it in Game 3, at least in what was a dominant third period that was highlighted by Justin Williams' chip shot that put the Canes up 3-2. From that point on, the Canes controlled possession and snuffed out any chance the Islanders had at mounting a third comeback.

"I thought after we scored our third goal, we really took the game over. We didn't allow them any opportunities whatsoever. That's big, and we kind of rode off the crowd momentum after that, everyone standing up and cheering," Williams said. "This place is electric. It's an extremely loud building. It's definitely home ice advantage."

Curtis McElhinney became the oldest goaltender in NHL history to make his first career postseason start and then earned his second straight playoff win. Since entering Game 2 in relief of an injured Petr Mrazek, McElhinney has turned aside 45 of the 47 shots he's faced and posted a 1.28 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.

Closing it Out

The Hurricanes trailed the Capitals 2-0 and 3-2 in the First Round. They know what it feels like to have their backs up against the wall.

GAME 4 PROJECTED LINEUP

"You never look at the big picture. You're always focused on your next game," Brind'Amour said. "Whether we're up three or down three, you want to be desperate to win that game. That's the approach we have to take. You know the other team is going to be that way. They don't have a choice. Sometimes having that tomorrow is not a good thing. When your backs are against the wall, you give it everything you can. We have to come with that mindset as well."

Video: Rod Brind'Amour: "A belief in what you're doing"

The Islanders are going to be in ultimate desperation mode. The Hurricanes will have to match and exceed that.

"The last one is always the hardest," Jordan Staal said. "We've got to do the same things we've been doing and better if we want to close it out. You know they're going to come with their best."

"You've got to have the mindset that you're the ones down 3-0. You don't want to take your foot off the gas," Martinook said. "They're playing here for a reason. We know that. You're not overlooking anything."

Svechnikov, Martinook Return. Ferland Next?

Andrei Svechnikov and Martinook returned to the lineup in Game 3, both important additions to the Canes' forward corps.

Svechnikov logged two shots on goal, a wrister that clanked off the post and a hit in 12:13 of ice time.

"He was great," Brind'Amour said, adding he wanted to play him more. "He was effective when he was out there."

Martinook recorded three shots on goal, three hits and a blocked shot in 12:02 of ice time.

Video: Martinook: "We're definitely not done"

"He's been grinding, obviously as people can tell, for a long time," Staal said. "He's one of our emotional leaders in the room. He's a guy who keeps it loose but keeps guys focused, as well."

Micheal Ferland, who has missed the last seven playoff games, was one of just a handful of players who skated on Thursday. After practice on Tuesday, Ferland said he might return in Game 4.

"He's day-to-day," Brind'Amour said on Thursday. "When he tells us he can go, he's going to go."


ADVANCE AUTO PARTS KEYS TO THE GAME

1. One at a Time

With an opportunity to sweep on the line, the Canes have to take this game one shift and one period at a time. Focus on and play in the present.

2. Relentless

The Canes' game is at its best when the team is aggressive and relentless on the forecheck. Don't let the Islanders establish their game. Control the pace, control possession and dominate the game.

3. Earn It

If the Canes are going to sweep a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history, they're going to have to earn it. They've done that all season. Earn it again tonight.


AT THE RINK

Bring the noise and help usher in the sweep for the Canes! Here's a quick rundown of what you can expect for Game 4. PNC Arena parking lots are set to open at 1 p.m. A South Plaza Party officially kicks off the festivities at 4:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show begins around 6:30 p.m. with warm-ups.

Giveaway alert! "Loudest House in the NHL" rally towels are waiting for you on your seat.

Did you know? The 50/50 Raffle is back! The Hurricanes Foundation is awarding non-cash prizes each week from now through early June. The grand prize - half of the cash jackpot - will then be drawn on June 13, and all ticket purchasers (including non-cash prize winners) are still eligible to win. Learn more about how you can win big and also raise funds for children's health and educational needs throughout North Carolina.


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Watch: NBCSN, FOX Sports Carolinas (postgame coverage)

Listen: 99.9 The Fan, Hurricanes app, Hurricanes.com/Listen

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