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Second Round

Islanders vs. Hurricanes playoff preview

Goalie matchup between Lehner, Mrazek could help decide second-round outcome

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

New York Islanders vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Islanders: Defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 in best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round

Hurricanes: Defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round

Season series: NYI 3-1-0; CAR 1-2-1


[RELATED: Complete Islanders vs. Hurricanes series coverage]


The skinny 

The New York Islanders will face off against the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round is at Barclays Center on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The Islanders are in the second round for the first time since 2016 and are coming off their second playoff series win since 1993. 

New York has not played since completing its sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round April 16. 

The Hurricanes rallied to end the Washington Capitals' defense of the Stanley Cup and finished off their first-round series with a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 7 at Capital One Arena on Wednesday. This is Carolina's first trip to the postseason since 2009. 

Video: Islanders advance with sweep of Penguins


Game breakers

Islanders: Forward Jordan Eberle scored in each of New York's four games against Pittsburgh in the first round after having five goals in the final seven games of the regular season. 

Hurricanes: Center Jordan Staal had six points (three goals, three assists) in the seven-game series against the Capitals and changed the tone of the series with 10 hits in Game 3. Staal helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2009. 

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: Staal pots snap shot to tie it in 3rd



Islanders: Robin Lehner, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, saved 130 of 136 shots against the Penguins. He is the first NHL goalie to win his first four playoff starts since Michael Leighton of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010.

Hurricanes: Petr Mrazek saved 48 of 49 shots in Games 3 and 4 at home against Washington, then made 34 saves in Game 7 to help Carolina extend its season. 


Numbers to know 

Islanders: Three is the magic number for New York. It scored at least three goals in each of the four games against Pittsburgh and swept the series. The Islanders went 38-2-2 during the regular season when they scored at least three. 

Hurricanes: Should the series go the distance, watch out for forward Justin Williams, nicknamed Mr. Game 7. He had an assist on forward Brock McGinn's double-overtime goal against the Capitals and has an NHL-record 15 points in Game 7 (seven goals, eight assists). His teams are 8-1 in those games.

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: McGinn displays late heroics in 2OT win


Injury report

Hurricanes: Forward Andrei Svechnikov is skating after sustaining a concussion during Game 3 against the Capitals. Forward Micheal Ferland sustained an upper-body injury in Game 3 and has resumed skating.

Islanders: Defenseman Johnny Boychuk sustained a lower-body injury in Game 4 at Pittsburgh and is expected to be out another 2-3 weeks. Forward Tanner Fritz had surgery last month after a blood clot formed in his hand, but he is expected to resume skating shortly. Forward Andrew Ladd is out for the season with a knee injury. 


They said it

"I know they're sitting there, probably licking their chops. I think we all would be the way this series went, seven games, overtimes, the grind that this series was, injuries that were racked up, and they're just sitting there for 10 days, or I don't know how long. I know they're a great team, and that's why they had a pretty easy [first] round. They know how to win, and they do it right." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour

"I don't think anyone gave either of these teams a whole lot of credit, and they deserve a lot of credit. The way they battled the second half of the year to kind of get in [the playoffs], I think resiliency is a good word for them. I think it's going to be a great series. They've got some speed, they've got some talent, they work really hard. We need to be ready and at our best." -- Islanders forward Matt Martin  


Will win if …

Islanders: They can force the Hurricanes to play their style, much like they did for the majority of the first round against the Penguins. New York essentially shut down Pittsburgh over the final three games, allowing three goals. The defense pair of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock was sensational against Sidney Crosby's line, a trend that will need to continue against Carolina center Sebastian Aho, who had five points (two goals, three assists) against Washington.

Hurricanes: They continue to receive offensive contributions from their defensemen. Jaccob Slavin led Carolina in the first round with nine assists, and Dougie Hamilton had six points (three goals, three assists), including three on the power play.

Hurricanes projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Justin Williams

Warren Foegele -- Lucas Wallmark -- Jordan Martinook

Saku Maenalanen -- Greg McKegg -- Patrick Brown

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Haydn Fleury


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


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