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game preview

Islanders at Hurricanes preview

New York looks to bounce back; Williams to make season debut for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (28-15-4) at HURRICANES (27-18-3)

5 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-CR, MSG+, NHL.TV


The Game

Justin Williams will make his season debut for the Carolina Hurricanes against the New York Islanders at PNC Arena on Sunday.

The 38-year-old forward signed a one-year contract Jan. 7 after announcing Sept. 2 that he was taking some time away from the NHL. Williams was Carolina's captain last season, when he had 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists) in 82 games.

Goalie James Reimer is expected to start for the Hurricanes, who have lost three games in a row (0-2-1).

The Islanders will try to bounce back from a 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. They led 4-1 entering the third period.

New York has lost two in a row and is 1-3-1 in its past five games.


Players to watch

Islanders forward Brock Nelson has four goals and two assists during a four-game point streak.

Hurricanes forward Justin Williams has 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 53 games against the Islanders.


They said it

"You can't take your foot off the pedal. We had to make hard plays. We didn't do that. There's a level that you have to raise when the game is on the line, and we didn't raise it. It's a tough loss, no question. It stings. We'll try to right our wrong [Sunday] night." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz after blowing a three-goal lead and losing to the Capitals

"It's just a little bit of time off, and most of the other guys in the League have a step on you, a little more seasoning. I've got to play catch-up. I'm nervous before every game I play. I'm going to have nerves, but the one thing you never question is your ability. I'm going to go out there, work my tail off, and let my instincts take over." -- Hurricanes forward Justin Williams


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Michael Dal Colle -- Derick Brassard -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Leo Komarov

Nick Leddy -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Noah Dobson -- Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Greiss

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Sebastian Aho, Ross Johnston

Injured: Adam Pelech (Achilles), Cal Clutterbuck (wrist)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Warren Foegele -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Staal -- Nino Niederreiter

Ryan Dzingel -- Erik Haula -- Martin Necas

Brock McGinn -- Lucas Wallmark -- Justin Williams

Jaccob Slavin -- Joel Edmundson

Jake Gardiner -- Brett Pesce

Trevor van Riemsdyk -- Haydn Fleury

James Reimer

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Jordan Martinook

Injured: Dougie Hamilton (fractured left leg)


Status report

Each team will play its third game in four days. ... The Hurricanes are likely to change all four of their lines for the third straight game. ... Martinook, a forward who has gone 17 games without a goal, is expected to be a healthy scratch for the first time in 30 games since returning from a lower-body injury Nov. 16.


Stat pack

Beauvillier has two goals and three assists during a three-game point streak. … Eberle has five points (three goals, two assists) in the past four games. … Haula has gone eight games without a goal, and Dzingel has gone seven. … Niederreiter has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 10 games against the Islanders.

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