NEW YORK ISLANDERS (9-6-2) VS CAROLINA HURRICANES (7-5-4)
7 P.M. - BARCLAYS CENTER - BUY TICKETS
TV: MSG+, MSG GO
RADIO: 88.7FM, AM970, 103.9FM
MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT
MORNING SKATE UPDATES - GAME NOTES
The Islanders are back in action after a four-day break in the schedule - their longest stretch without a game so far this season - when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.
This is the first meeting between the Metropolitan Division rivals this season and the Metro is as tight as it's been in years. As of Thursday morning, six points separate first from eighth in the division and only two points separate the fifth-place Islanders (20 points) from seventh-seeded Carolina (18 points).
These are key divisional points for the Islanders, who are looking to establish some more consistency into their play in November. The Isles are 2-2-1 in November and while they haven't gone two straight games without a point this season, they have yet to score consecutive wins this month.
"We've had some good efforts, we've had a couple we felt we could've won but we have to get out of that 'one good one bad,'" Head Coach Doug Weight said. "We talk about being a little more consistent than other teams and just keep challenging ourselves on that. I'd definitely like to continue on with Saturdays effort tomorrow. It's a big weekend for us."
Thursday's game kicks off a stretch of three in four nights for the Islanders, who will meet the Hurricanes again on Sunday in Raleigh to finish up a back-to-back set.
ISLES VS CANES:
The Hurricanes have been a difficult matchup for the Islanders of late, as the Isles are 2-6-2 against the Hurricanes in their last 10 home games. Carolina has earned a point in nine of their last 10 meetings with the Islanders (6-1-3).
Thursday's game pits the Islanders 5-0-2 home record against a Carolina team that is 3-0-1 in four trips to Barclays Center.
As tough as this matchup has been, the Isles may be trending in the right direction, winning two straight against the Hurricanes.
Anthony Beauvillier, Thomas Hickey and Ryan Pulock are in for the Islanders.
Alan Quine, Dennis Seidenberg and Scott Mayfield are out.
Thomas Greiss will start in goal.
The Hurricanes bring a five-game point streak (3-0-2) into Thursday's action and are coming off a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday.
Jordan Staal (6G, 7A), Teuvo Teravainen (6G, 7A) and Justin Williams (2G, 11A) are tied atop the Hurricanes scoring lead with 13 points. Staal has been the hottest Hurricane of late, with seven points (3G, 4A) in his last five games including a four-assist night vs Dallas.
The Hurricanes TSA line - Teravainen-Staal-Aho - combined for four of Carolina's five goals in Dallas.
Scott Darling, who signed a four-year deal after being traded to Carolina from Chicago in April, will start in net against the Islanders. Darling is 5-3-4 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in his first season with the Hurricanes.
Marcus Kruger (illness) was absent from Wednesday's practice. If he can't play on Thursday, Phillip Di Giuseppe will draw into the lineup.
MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT:
The New York Islanders will be celebrating the US military on Thursday night. The team has invited veterans to attend Thursday's game and will wear camouflage warmup jerseys.
In honor of military appreciation night, the Islanders have a few connections to the military. Scott Mayfield's brother is an F-16 pilot based in Italy, while Thomas Greiss teaches hockey camps at Fort Bragg in the offseason and has tributes to the military on his new mask.