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5 Keys: Islanders at Hurricanes, Game 4

Carolina must maintain intensity to complete sweep; goalie Greiss could start for New York

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor



Carolina leads best-of-7 series 3-0

The Carolina Hurricanes will try to sweep the New York Islanders in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at PNC Arena on Friday.

The Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers have never swept an opponent in a best-of-7 series; the Whalers swept the Quebec Nordiques 3-0 in the best-of-5 1986 Adams Division Semifinals.


[RELATED: Complete Islanders vs. Hurricanes series coverage]


No team has swept a series and then been swept in the following round since the Buffalo Sabres in 1993; the Islanders won four straight against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

Here are 5 keys for Game 4:


1. Pedal to the metal

The Hurricanes are obviously in the driver's seat with three straight wins, but they know it wouldn't be a good idea to give the Islanders any life. They have a prime opportunity at home to finish the job.

"You've just got to have that mindset that you're the ones down 3-0 and you don't want to take your foot off the gas by no means," Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said. "You don't want to think that just because we put ourselves in this position that it's going to be easy because they got there for a reason. … Every shift is so important, every play is so important and you've just got to take that mindset into every game."


2. Change in goal?

Islanders coach Barry Trotz hinted there could be lineup changes after the 5-2 loss in Game 3. The most logical choice would be in goal; Robin Lehner has never defeated the Hurricanes in seven career starts. Thomas Greiss won three of four games against Carolina during the regular season.

Trotz said he's not concerned about what the reaction might be should he decide to make the switch.

"We've lost three," Trotz said. "The reaction is, 'Let's go.'"

Trotz would not disclose who the starter would be Friday, saying he did not want the Hurricanes to know until game time.


3. Fourth line vs. fourth line

The Hurricanes' fourth line of Martinook, Greg McKegg and Patrick Brown did a masterful job in Game 3 against what Trotz has called his "identity line" of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck, who have set the tone for New York all season and played a major role in its success. It appears Martinook, McKegg and Brown will be saddled with the same responsibility Friday.

"They played good minutes for us," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Obviously, they've got a very talented fourth line that does a lot of heavy minutes for them. … We've said all year we're going to need everybody to contribute in some form or fashion, whether you're on the scoresheet or winning your shifts."


4. Lee's leadership

This is forward Anders Lee's first season as Islanders captain, so it's the first situation he's facing as the leader with a season on the line. Lee said he doesn't anticipate having to give an emotional speech in an effort to rally his teammates.

"Stay the course, it comes natural," Lee said. "We all have the conversation, we talk in here all the time. What I have to say is said, and same with the other guys. We've got a lot of valuable people in this room that have been through a lot, situations like this before. We're all pulling together; it's not just me or the veterans. It's everybody."


5. Bring the noise

The Hurricanes are 4-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena, which has provided an electric atmosphere for the home team. With a chance to advance Friday to the Eastern Conference Final, the decibel levels should be through the roof.

"You just get that buzz going and that good feeling going," Hurricanes center Jordan Staal said. "The crowd's been No. 1, for sure. Obviously, we feel comfortable in this building. We've won quite a few games. Even throughout the season, I thought we were pretty good at home. But I think the crowd's been the No. 1 reason we've played well here."


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

Thomas Greiss

Robin Lehner

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

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


Hurricanes projected lineup

Warren Foegele -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams

Nino Niederreiter -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Andrei Svechnikov -- Lucas Wallmark -- Brock McGinn

Jordan Martinook -- Greg McKegg -- Patrick Brown

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan -- Haydn Fleury

Curtis McElhinney

Alex Nedeljkovic

Scratched: Jake Bean, Clark Bishop

Injured: Petr Mrazek (lower body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Saku Maenalanen (upper body), Micheal Ferland (upper body)


Status report

The Islanders did not have a morning skate or any media availability. … Mrazek, who was injured in Game 2, skated briefly Friday morning. … Ferland, who has been out since Game 3 of the first round against the Washington Capitals, skated Friday morning, but Brind'Amour said, "he has to feel 100 percent comfortable to play his game to be in there." correspondent Kurt Dusterberg contributed to this report


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