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New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes

by Jesse D. Eisenberg / New York Islanders
Check out the Islanders lineup for tonight's game against the Hurricanes. Click here.

Hurricanes (Expected) Lineups
Forwards: Tlusty-Staal-Ruutu; Jokinen-Skinner-Dalpe; Dwyer-Sutter-Nodl; Stewart-Brent-LaRose

Harrison-Faulk; Joslin-McBain

Ward, Peters

Team Record: 18-21-6
Last Game: 4-1 W @ PHI
Season Series: 1-0-0 of 4
Team Record: 17-24-8
Last Game: 3-0 W v WSH
Season Series: 0-0-1 of 4
Matt Moulson
Moulson’s uncharacteristic five-game assist streak came to a close Thursday in Philadelphia, but the finisher extended his point streak to six games by doing what he does best: burying a John Tavares feed. Just seven players in the NHL have more goals than Moulson’s 22, and Tavares has assisted on 15 of those tallies.

Moulson is eight goals shy of posting his third-consecutive 30-goal season. He thrives in net-front traffic and takes pride in scoring ugly goals, but the durable forward has yet to miss a game in his Islanders career. His games-played streak stands at 209 entering tonight’s action.
Jeff Skinner
Last season’s Rookie of the Year ranks second on Carolina in goals (12) and third in points (24), despite missing 16 games with a concussion from Dec. 9 - Jan. 14. Tonight marks Skinner’s fourth game back from the injury.

Last season, Skinner led all NHL rookies and ranked second on the Hurricanes with 63 points (31 goals, 32 assists). Just 19-years-old this season, Skinner’s vision and skill are beyond his years. While his 5-11, 193-pound frame has proven vulnerable to injury as of late, the seventh overall pick in 2010 played all 82 games as a rookie.
Heating Up – The Islanders have won three of their last four games to climb to within 10 points of the eighth-place Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference. The Isles look to extend their winning streak to three games tonight, as they entertain the Hurricanes for the second of three January meetings between the squads. The Isles opened 2012 with a 4-3 shootout win in Raleigh, but have lost three straight to Carolina on Coliseum ice.

11 and Counting John Tavares carries a career-best and NHL season-high 11-game point streak into tonight's game (tied with David Krejci). He has six goals and 13 assists over that stretch, which includes six multi-point games. Tavares has been named the game's First Star in five of those 11 games.

Nabokov’s Win Streak – Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov posted his third-straight win Thursday in Philadelphia. He's allowed just three goals during the streak, which has included his 300th career win (1/14) and his 51st career shutout (1/17). No Islanders goalie has won four-straight games this season. Nabokov has started 13 of the last 14 Islanders games, including 11-straight from Dec. 22 - Jan 14.

Special Teams – The Islanders have been clicking on both sides of the puck during recent man-advantages. They’ve killed 29-of-30 power plays over the last 12 games, while converting on 12-of-40 power plays over their last 13. Thursday night in Philadelphia, the Islanders scored their first 4-on-3 goal of the season and their second 4-on-5 shortie.
Season Series: These teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout at the RBC Center on Jan. 3, and will meet again in Raleigh on Jan. 31, the first night of play after the All-Star break.

Big Story: The 'Canes and Isles have spent most of the season battling to avoid the Eastern Conference cellar, but both have perked up in the past couple of weeks.

Who's Hot: Tavares has 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) during an 11-game scoring streak, matching Boston's David Krejci for the longest in the NHL this season. … It's been a tough season for Carolina captain Eric Staal, but a trip to Long Island always seems to get his game going: He has eight goals in his last eight visits to the Nassau Coliseum.
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Frans Nielsen’s trademark backhand powered the Islanders to a 4-3 SO win over the Hurricanes on Jan. 3. Kyle Okposo forced overtime, scoring with a 1:30 left in regulation. The Islanders went 2-2 on the power play, with Matt Moulson and Nielsen accounting for the tallies. Anthony Stewart, Brandon Sutter and Chad Larose scored for the Canes, while Cam Ward made 33 saves. His counterpart, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 37.
Date of
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 45 out indef. (IR)
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 9 10 weeks
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 10 No timetbl. (IR)
Reasoner 1/7 Broken hand 7 No timetbl. (IR)
Power Play %: 19.7%
Penalty Kill %: 86.3%
Home Record: 10-11-3
Road Record: 8-10-3
Goals For: 110
Goals Against: 135
Power Play %: 15.0%
Penalty Kill %: 78.0%
Home Record: 11-11-3
Road Record: 5-13-5
Goals For: 124
Goals Against: 156

Jack Capuano on keys to staying consistent: We have to put (the road trip) behind us and focus on Carolina – a team that plays tonight and is coming into our barn tomorrow. We have a lot of hockey here before the All-Star Break and we have to focus on it one shift at a time and one period at a time. We have to make sure that when we step onto the ice, we step onto the ice with a purpose and we execute our structure."

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