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5 Keys: Hurricanes at Islanders, Game 2

Rested Carolina seeks to tighten defense; New York must start quickly, improve power play

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor


3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS

Carolina leads best-of-7 series 1-0

The Carolina Hurricanes will try to take a 2-0 series lead when they face the New York Islanders in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Barclays Center on Sunday.


[RELATED: Complete Islanders vs. Hurricanes series coverage]


Goalie Petr Mrazek made 31 saves, and center Jordan Staal scored the only goal 4:04 into overtime for a 1-0 win in the series opener on Friday.

Here are 5 keys for Game 2:


1. Get one early

With the way Mrazek played Friday, expect the Islanders to shoot early and often with the hopes of swaying the momentum in their favor. 

"Personally, I don't really worry about the other goalie too much," center Mathew Barzal said. "You get Grade As after Grade As [chances], something's going to go in. But he's definitely a good goalie when he's seeing the puck, definitely athletic and moving around and closing off those second and third chances. We've just got to bear down and pick the corner."


2. Rest stop

Carolina has barely had time to breathe since its 4-3 double-overtime win against the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the first round on Wednesday. The Hurricanes have not practiced since and tried to take advantage of getting rest Saturday with an early start for Game 2.

Coach Rod Brind'Amour cited a lack of healthy players -- forwards Andrei Svechnikov, Jordan Martinook and Micheal Ferland each have missed time with injuries -- but he's also trying to make Carolina is mentally sharp when the puck drops.

"This time of year, it is more mental fatigue than physical," Brind'Amour said. "It's as important to rest the mind as the body."


3. Islanders must power up

New York's inability to capitalize with the man-advantage has been somewhat of an Achilles heel all season, and it was again in Game 1 when it went 0-for-4, including a chance with 6:09 remaining in the third period. If it's going to be a low-scoring series throughout, the Islanders know their power play needs to improve.

"Obviously, we had plenty of opportunities," forward and captain Anders Lee said. "We need to be better as a group. We knew coming in they were going to be a high-pressure type of penalty kill. It's on us to go back and make adjustments."


4. Clean up defensively

The Hurricanes played admirably in Game 1 despite the quick turnaround, but they know they need to play better in their own end and not rely as much on Mrazek if they hope to go home with a 2-0 series lead.

"We have to clean up a little bit," defenseman Justin Faulk said. "There were parts of our game last night that weren't our best for sure. You can say 'not much rest' or 'just trying to feel out each other in a new series' to contribute to that, but there are things that need to be cleaned up and we have better to give."


5. Eberle looks to recapture touch

Islanders forward Jordan Eberle scored in each of their four games against the Penguins in the first round after scoring in five of their final seven regular-season games. Playing for the first time in 10 days, Eberle was held to one shot on goal in Game 1 against the Hurricanes. 

"Little rusty in the first [period], I would say," Eberle said. "Just getting not so much your legs under you, but your head, catching up. Your legs are moving fast, you have a lot of energy, but just mentally trying to get timing right and thinking the game. But as the game went on, I felt better and better. I think the longer we go, the better we'll feel."


Hurricanes projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Justin Williams

Warren Foegele -- Lucas Wallmark -- Patrick Brown

Saku Maenalanen -- Greg McKegg -- Clark Bishop

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Haydn Fleury

Injured: Andrei Svechnikov (concussion), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Jordan Martinook (lower body)


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Josh Bailey -- Brock Nelson -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Anthony Beauvillier -- Valtteri Filppula -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Thomas Hickey

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Robin Lehner

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg, Michael Dal Colle, Ross Johnston

Injured: Johnny Boychuk (lower body), Tanner Fritz (hand), Andrew Ladd (torn ACL)


Status report

Svechnikov, who has not played since Game 3 against the Capitals, skated on his own again Saturday and will be a game-time decision. … Martinook is also expected to be a game-time decision. … Komarov and Mayfield each had a maintenance day Saturday; each is expected to play.

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