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New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes - game preview

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Team Record: 24-25-8

Last Game: 5-1 L @ STL
Season Series: 3-0-0 of 4
Team Record: 22-25-11
Last Game: 3-2 W vs. SJ
Season Series: 0-1-2 of 4
Michael Grabner
Grabner scored his 15th goal of the season Saturday against Los Angeles and picked up an assist against St. Louis on Thursday.

Grabner’s line mates Frans Nielsen and PA Parenteau have scored a bulk of the team's goals of late and Grabner could be poised to have a strong second half like he did in his rookie year.
Jiri Tlusty
Tlusty holds the hot hand for Carolina having scored six points (3g/3a) over his last six games entering Saturday’s action. The 23-year-old Czech set career highs this season in goals (13) assists (11) and points (24).

The Islanders have been able to shut Tlusty down this year as he has no points in their three meetings. They will look to end his six-game streak.
Carolina on the mind: The Islanders are looking for their first season sweep against the Carolina Hurricanes. This season, the Isles won both games in Raleigh for the first time since 2007-08 as well as the teams' previous meeting at the Coliseum. The Canes held the upper hand in recent years, but John Tavares and company have flipped the script. This is a crucial game for the Islanders, but it’ll be tough, as two contests went to overtime and that fourth win is always the hardest to get.

On the Rebound: The Islanders experienced a setback Thursday in St. Louis after a big win Tuesday in Winnipeg. The Islanders have alternated wins and losses in their last five games and a quick rebound is critical to their playoff push. The last time the Islanders gave up five goals (a 5-1 loss to Phoenix on Jan. 7) they responded with a 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Special Teams: The Islanders entered Thursday’s game with the fifth-ranked power play and the eighth-ranked penalty kill, but it was a rough night for the special teams. The power play went 0-5 mustering five shots and the penalty kill went 1-3. Reversing those stats back to Tuesday’s form (1-1 PP; 3-3 PK) should get the Isles back on track.
The Islanders came out of the All-Star break firing on all cylinders with a 5-2 win against the Hurricanes Jan. 31 at RBC Center. John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo combined for nine points while PA Parenteau and Mark Streit each contributed two. Kevin Poulin made 21 saves for his first win of season. Brandon Sutter and Tim Brent scored for Carolina.

Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played Carolina.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 21 10 weeks
Hamonic 2/4 Broken Nose 6 2 weeks
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 57 out indef. (IR)
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 22 No timetbl. (IR)
Reese 2/7 MCL Sprain 5 4-6 weeks
Power play: 19.2%
Penalty kill: 83.5%
Home record: 12-13-5
Road record: 12-12-3
Goals For: 135
Goals Against: 165
Power play: 15.8%
Penalty kill: 77.9%
Home record: 15-12-3
Road record: 7-13-8
Goals For: 150
Goals Against: 177

Answer from Thursday's question: Prior to coaching the New York Islanders, Al Arbour coached what NHL franchise? The answer is: St. Louis Blues. Arbour coached the Blues for 107 games from 1970-73. He finished with a record of 42-40-25 before accepting the job with the Islanders. 
Steve Staios missed Thursday's game with a stomach flu and Evgeni Nabokov was scratched from his start due to flu-like symptoms. Updates on line up and starting goaltender will be posted here after Jack Capuano's morning media availability.

Hurricanes Lineups
Forwards: Tlusty-Staal-Samson; Jokinen-Skinner-Bowman; Nodl-Sutter-Dwyer; Joslin-Brent0.

Gleason-Allen; Harrison-Faulk ; Spacek-McBain.

Ward, Peters

Matt Moulson on moving forward after Thursday’s loss: “We talk about having a playoff attitude and in the playoffs you have to put games behind you right away. Obviously we have another big game on Saturday and these are a crucial two points for us. We are going to have to work on things and make sure we do some things better. This one has to be behind us and we've got to put a big, solid effort in on Saturday.”

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