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Hurricanes will play Islanders in Eastern Conference Second Round

Carolina eliminated defending champion Capitals in Game 7; New York swept Penguins more than week ago

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The Carolina Hurricanes will play the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

The Hurricanes defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 4-3 in double overtime in Game 7 to win that best-of-7 series Wednesday.

"I know they're sitting there probably licking their chops; we all would be the way this series went, seven games, overtime, the grind that this series was ...," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I haven't had time to think about it. I know they're a great team and that's why they're playing and they had a pretty easy round. They know how to win and they know how to do it right."

New York, which finished second in the Metropolitan Division, will have home-ice advantage against Carolina, which was the first wild card from the Eastern Conference. The Islanders will play their home games in this series at Barclays Center after playing the first round at Nassau Coliseum.

Game 1 is at New York on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS).

"We're in a position where we have some time off," New York forward Anders Lee said. "They have an opportunity to go a full seven. There's pros and cons for both, but I think being able to rest up ... it'll be a challenge for us to be hopping in that first period, but I think it'll be good for us."

Video: NYI@PIT, Gm4: Islanders, Penguins shake hands

The Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in Game 4 on April 16 to end that first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series. It was their second series win since the 1992-93 season (defeated Florida Panthers in six games, 2016 first round).

"We've tried to do our best to stay in game shape and game situations in practice," New York forward Jordan Eberle said. "I know it's tough, especially when you watch all this hockey being played. But at the end of the day, it should be an advantage. We'll be rested and ready to go."

The Hurricanes were 1-2-1 against the Islanders this season. Dougie Hamilton led Carolina with three points (three assists). Justin Williams scored two goals and was one of five Hurricanes with two points. Carolina had three goalies start the four games. Petr Mrazek was 0-1-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves on 31 shots in a 4-3 win Jan. 8. Scott Darling allowed four goals on 19 shots in a 4-1 loss Nov. 24.

"Playing in the regular season there, their work ethic speaks for itself," Carolina forward Jordan Staal said. "I think we play similar styles, they're going to get pucks deep and get bodies on our [defensemen]."

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: McGinn nets goal in 2OT to win Game 7

Brock Nelson had six points (two goals, four assists), Josh Bailey had five points (two goals, three assists), and Valtteri Filppula scored twice for New York. Thomas Griess started each of the four games and allowed seven goals on 136 shots (1.76 GAA, .949 save percentage).

"Trust me, we're fresh," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We'll get the rust off. It may take a little bit, but we haven't had game action for a bit. That will come. That's not an issue. We're going to be enthused."

Carolina has never played New York in the playoffs.

"We're expecting tight checking, they're very defensive, don't give you too much time and space, so I think we've got to continue our style of game," Hurricanes forward Brock McGinn said. "We've got to be a forechecking team and work them."

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