Hurricanes at Islanders preview
Carolina, New York competing for Eastern Conference wild cardby Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
HURRICANES (35-25-5) at ISLANDERS (35-23-8)
1 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG+, FS-CR, NHL.TV
The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes will try to improve their wild-card chances when they play at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.
New York, which is 0-3-2 in its past five, is two points ahead of the New York Rangers and three in front of the Hurricanes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Carolina is 0-3-1 in its past four and is playing the third of six consecutive road games. The Hurricanes are one point ahead of the Florida Panthers.
Players to watch
Hurricanes forward Justin Williams has scored in his past two games.
Islanders center Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 loss at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. He has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past eight games.
They said it
"They hunker down in front of the net, a very committed team to getting in the way of pucks and protecting that area. They wait for you to make mistakes, that's what they do. They check you to death and they've got some real high-end talent that they can kind of take advantage of your mistakes." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour on the Islanders
"Negativity and dwelling on things is not going to help you at all. We're continuing to come together and get some energy in here and staying positive. The sun came up today, and we have an opportunity [Saturday]. It's all you can do, look forward to the next chance and the next game to make everything right." -- Islanders captain Anders Lee
Hurricanes projected lineup
Andrei Svechnikov -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter -- Vincent Trocheck -- Martin Necas
Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Justin Williams
Ryan Dzingel -- Jordan Martinook -- Warren Foegele
Jaccob Slavin -- Joel Edmundson
Jake Gardiner -- Trevor van Riemsdyk
Haydn Fleury -- Brady Skjei
Injured: Dougie Hamilton (leg), Brett Pesce (shoulder), Sami Vatanen (lower body), Petr Mrazek (concussion protocol), James Reimer (lower body)
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle
Michael Dal Colle -- Brock Nelson -- Derick Brassard
Anthony Beauvillier -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Josh Bailey
Matt Martin -- Otto Koivula -- Leo Komarov
Nick Leddy -- Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene -- Noah Dobson
Scratched: Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, Andrew Ladd
Injured: Cal Clutterbuck (undisclosed), Casey Cizikas (leg), Johnny Boychuk (eye), Adam Pelech (Achilles)
Mrazek, a goalie who was injured Feb. 22, practiced Friday. "That's the first step in getting him back, and he looked pretty good," Brind'Amour said. "Hopefully we'll have a good report [Saturday] on how he did, get him up to speed as fast as we can and get him into a game." … Vatanen, a defenseman who has not played since Feb. 1 for the New Jersey Devils, did not practice. … Clutterbuck, a forward, practiced Friday after not playing in the third period Thursday, but Islanders coach Barry Trotz said it's doubtful he'll play. … Kuhnhackl (undisclosed), a forward who was unavailable Thursday, practiced and should be available.
The Hurricanes are 2-0-0 against the Islanders this season. … Carolina has allowed the first goal in six straight games and 12 of the past 15. … New York is 4-3-2 in afternoon games.