The Carolina Hurricanes (16-16-9) will start their second half of the season tonight when they take on Metropolitan Division opponent, the New York Islanders (14-21-7) at 7 ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and broadcasted on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.
The Hurricanes have a 2-0-0 record against the Islanders this season. The teams last met on Nov. 7 with the Canes skating away with a 1-0 win. Radek Dvorak had the lone goal and Justin Peters made 19 saves for the shutout.Hurricanes Lineup Jeff Skinner – Eric Staal – Alexander Semin Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Patrick Dwyer Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Tuomo Ruutu Zach Boychuk – Brett Sutter – Radek Dvorak Andrej Sekera – Justin Faulk Brett Bellemore – Ron Hainsey John-Michael Liles – Ryan Murphy Anton Khudobin/Justin Peters Possible Scratches: Cam Ward, Jiri Tlusty, Riley Nash and Jay Harrison (Injured). Mike Komisarek (Healthy). Islanders Lineup Thomas Vanek – John Tavares – Kyle Okposo Michael Grabner – Frans Nielsen – Cal Clutterbuck Brock Nelson – Ryan Strome – Colin McDonald Matt Martin – Casey Czikas – Peter Regin Travis Hamonic – Calvin De Haan Thomas Hickey – Andrew MacDonald Brian Strait – Matt Carkner Evgeni Nabokov/Kevin Poulin Possible Scratches: Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek
Hurricanes Outlook: The Hurricanes closed out the first half of the season on a high note as the team defeated the Washington Capitals in overtime behind Jeff Skinner‘s three goals. The 21-year-old has five goals in two games and is officially on a hot steak.
Anton Khudobin played a strong game against the Caps, but Kirk Muller said the starter for today’s game would not be announced until the morning skate. Cam Ward‘s injury has not been updated, but it is not expected that he would play today.
Brett Sutter and Zach Boychuk only played two and six minutes, respectively, against the Capitals. Muller will have to roll a more even lineup or some of the other forwards are going to be tired out as the week moves on.
Islanders Outlook: Things have not been going the Islanders’ way as the team went into the 2013-14 season with some high expectations after making the playoffs last season. But they do have a three-game winning streak and a 5-3-2 record in their last 10.
John Tavares and Kyle Okposo are having great seasons with 45 and 42 points, respectively. Thomas Vanek, who New York paid heavily for to help the team, has 23 points in 26 games and seven points in his last five games.
But it’s the young defense and shaky goaltending that has been the Islanders’ main struggles. Evgeni Nabokov only has nine wins and a save percentage of .906 and missed some games with an injury. The backup, Kevin Poulin, has even worse numbers with a .892 save percentage.
The Hurricanes will need to expose the Islanders’ goaltending and defense to beat the team.
A recap will be posted after the game.