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Preview: Islanders vs. Hurricanes

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (40-25-9) VS. CAROLINA HURRICANES  (33-28-15)

7 P.M. BARCLAYS CENTER, MSG+, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM, BUY TICKETS

FIVE THINGS:

1. ISLES-HURRICANES IV:

The Islanders wrap up a home-and-home set and their season series with the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. The Islanders rallied for a 4-3 OT win on Saturday, breaking a three-game winless streak against the Canes. Cal Clutterbuck scored the tying-and-winning goals, while JF Berube picked up his third win of the season.

2. WHAT IT MEANS:

Currently holding the first wild card, the New York Islanders (89 points) are looking to stay ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers (87 points – second wild card) and the Detroit Red Wings (87 points – out of playoffs). 

NHL STANDINGS

The Islanders hold one game in hand on Philadelphia and two on Detroit, meaning they are in control of their own destiny. If the Islanders win five of their remaining eight games, they will clinch a playoff berth. If the Red Wings lose a game, then the Islanders threshold for making the playoffs also drops. The bottom line: just win. 

“In the position we’re in, if we take care of business things will work out for us,” John Tavares said. “There’s not too much for us to worry about other than ourselves and the way we have to play.” 

3. CAL 'CLUTCH'ERBUCK:

Cal Clutterbuck played the hero for the Islanders on Saturday night, scoring the game-tying and-winning goals in Raleigh. Clutterbuck has been clutch for the Islanders, scoring five game-winning goals this season, tying John Tavares for the team lead, including three in March. 

“Hes got such a good release and a great shot. He can score goals if you give him some time,” Kyle Okposo said of Clutterbuck. “He’s been playing really well for us all year and scoring some big goals.”

4. NIELSEN TO PLAY 600TH GAME:

Frans Nielsen will play in his 600th NHL game on Tuesday night – all with the Islanders. Nielsen is third in team scoring with 47 points (19G, 28A) and is one goal shy of hitting 20 for the second time in his NHL career. One more point would also guarantee Nielsen his second-highest single-season point total. 

5. VICTOR RASK:

Victor Rask is having a career-year for the Hurricanes, setting highs in goals (20), assists (25) and points (45). Rask has four goals in his last three games, including a tally against the Islanders on Saturday night. The 23-year-old followed up with a two-goal performance against the New Jersey Devils the next time, scoring the game-winning goal. 

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