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Preview: Islanders at Hurricanes

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (29-18-6) VS. CAROLINA HURRICANES  (24-21-10)

7 P.M. PNC ARENA, MSG+WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM

FIVE THINGS:

1. ISLES VS. HURRICANES:

The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes meet for the second time this season on Saturday night (7 p.m., MSG+). The Islanders are looking to avenge a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes on October 29 at Barclays Center. The Islanders have won three straight games, most recently coming off a 5-2 win over the LA Kings. 

2. TAVARES IS HOT: 

John Tavares is red-hot for the Islanders, extending his point streak to four games with a goal and an assist on Thursday night vs. LA. Tavares has seven points (3G, 4A) in his last four games, 12 points (5G, 7A) in his last eight and 20 points (7G, 13A) in his last 19 contests. The Islanders captain is tied with Brock Nelson for the team-lead in goals with 20 - Tavares' seventh straight 20-goal season - and is tied with Kyle Okposo with 43 points for the Islanders scoring lead. 

“I just want to keep doing the right things,” Tavares said. “I think I’ve been playing well for a few weeks and I want to be consistent, keep it going and create opportunities.”  

READ: TAVARES BACK ON TRACK

3. POWER PLAY CLICKING:

The Islanders power play has scored in four straight games, going 5-for-15 with the man advantage over that span. Going further back, the Islanders have scored a power-play goal in six of their last eight games. 

“We’re shooting the puck,” Jack Capuano said. “When we try to make the sexy plays and the seam passes, it’s been unsuccessful. You shoot pucks, you have Anders Lee in front who does a great job. That’s what we have to continue to do. Try to retrieve pucks, have good entries and get pucks to the net.”

4. STORMING UP THE STANDINGS:

The Carolina Hurricanes have played themselves into the Eastern Conference Wild Card race and sit five points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final playoff spot. 

“They have played very well this year,” John Tavares said. “A lot of people didn’t expect them to do much. We’ve always known how hard they play. They have a young group, really come a long way and are right in the mix. The two points are big tomorrow, we want to try and create separation.”

5. JUSTIN FAULK MISSES FRIDAY'S GAME:

Hurricanes leading scorer Justin Faulk missed Friday’s game with Pittsburgh after suffering an injury he sustained during practice on Thursday. According to the Hurricanes’ website, Faulk collided with the end boards and left practice. He took morning skate on Friday, but did not dress for the game. 

Faulk leads the Hurricanes with 34 points and is tied for second among NHL blueliners with 15 goals. Faulk is one goal shy of setting a career-high and does his best work on the power play, with 12 of his 15 goals coming with the man advantage – the most of any defensemen in the league.

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