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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Hurricanes

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

HURRICANES (23-30-7) at ISLANDERS (41-20-2)

TV: FS-CR, MSG+

Season series:
The New York Islanders will try for the four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes. Islanders forwards John Tavares (two goals, five assists) and Brock Nelson (four goals, three assists) each have seven points. Hurricanes forward Eric Staal has a goal and two assists.

Hurricanes team scope:
Carolina will play its second game since trading forward Jiri Tlusty and defenseman Andrej Sekera; the Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Friday. "Obviously, those were big pieces that left, so everyone had to step up their play, and I thought that everyone responded pretty well," defenseman Brett Bellemore said. Anton Khudobin made 28 saves; Cam Ward will likely be in net. The Hurricanes are looking for their first three-game winning streak in a month. "We have to keep our legs, keep our speed," Bellemore said of playing back-to-back. "An asset on this team is our speed, and if we can continue to do that, I think things will work out pretty well for us."

Islanders team scope:
New York is 19-3-1 against the Metropolitan Division this season, 11-1-0 at Nassau Coliseum. Goalie Jaroslav Halak, who set an Islanders record with his 33rd win of the season Friday, a 2-1 victory against the Calgary Flames, likely will sit in favor of backup Chad Johnson. "We will think about it, but obviously a good chance [of Johnson starting]," coach Jack Capuano said. "We have back-to-back games, but we have to go back and take a look at our overall lineup from positional players to goaltender." New York is 8-3-0 in the second game of a back-to-back. Tavares has 13 points in his past eight games (five goals, eight assists).

New York Islanders
41-20-2 (84 points – 1st in Metropolitan Division, 3rd in Eastern Conference)
23-8-0
Carolina Hurricanes
23-30-7 (53 points - 8th in Metropolitan Division, 15th in Eastern Conference)
9-19-4 road
5:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

Television:
MSG+
Play-by-play: Howie Rose
; Color: Butch Goring
Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Islanders 2, Flames 1
- Post-Game: Clutterbuck Capuano, Halak Strome (Feb. 27)
Islanders player to watch
Ryan Strome - Forward

Ryan Strome made it points in two-straight games and three of the last four with a goal on Friday night. Strome tallied his first power-play goal of the season with his marker in the opening period against the Flames. In five career games against Carolina, Strome has five points on five assists. He also has a plus-8 rating, the highest against any NHL opponent.
Hurricanes player to watch
Jordan Staal - Forward

The third-year Hurricane had a delayed start to the season due to breaking his leg in a preseason game. Since returning in December, Staal has posted 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 24 games. Jordan has been centering the Canes’ top line between his brother Eric and Alexander Semin, while in previous seasons the two Staals had been centers on separate lines.
New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
27 Anders Lee - 91 John Tavares - 12 Josh Bailey
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 18 Ryan Strome
86 Nikolay Kulemin - 29 Brock Nelson - 15 Cal Clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin - 48 Kael Mouillierat - 13 Colin McDonald

Defensemen
44 Calvin de Haan - 3 Travis Hamonic
2 Nick Leddy - 55 Johnny Boychuk
14 Thomas Hickey - 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Chad Johnson

Carolina Hurricanes previous game lines
Forwards
12 Eric Staal - 11 Jordan Staal - 28 Alex Semin
53 Jeff Skinner - 20 Riley Nash - 16 Elias Lindholm
14 Nathan Gerbe - 49 Victor Rask - 15 Andrej Nestrasil
24 Brad Malone - 18 Jay McClement - 39 Pat Dwyer

Defensemen
65 Ron Hainsey - 27 Justin Faulk
26 John-Michael Liles - 73 Brett Bellemore
47 Michal Jordan - 6 Tim Gleason

Goaltenders
30 Cam Ward
31 Anton Khudobin


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