To complete the final back-to-back of the season and the last matinee of the year, the New York Islanders will be the Hurricanes’ opponent for this one. Carolina will be making its first trip to the new UBS Arena in Elmont, on Long Island. It’s the Canes’ first trip to this new building and they will be looking to win tonight to take all the pressure off themselves for Tuesday.
This is a huge game for the Canes seeing as the Hurricanes’ closest competitor for the Division title was beaten by the Boston Bruins last night. If they can confirm two points in Elmont this afternoon, they will put all the pressure on the New York Rangers for their game at MSG on Tuesday. However, the Islanders are an opponent that will not roll over for Carolina.
We saw the Canes’ last-second heroics get them past the New Jersey Devils last night, but the New York Islanders did that to the Canes not too long ago. That last-minute saw the canes both tie the game at one and yield a last-second winner when these two teams last saw each other. Today, the Hurricanes have a shot at getting their revenge and solidifying their grip on the lead of the Metropolitan Division.
When the Hurricanes play tonight, they will have played a game more than the Rangers. If the Canes can get anything from this game tonight, they’re going to make life very difficult for the Rangers. If the Canes can emerge from Long Island with more points in the standings than they started with, they will have clinching scenarios for Tuesday’s game against the Rangers at MSG.
This Islanders team doesn’t have the most offensive firepower, but they’re stingy and won’t give up a lot defensively. They’re good in transition and they’re very good at keeping pressure away from their netminders. They can keep up with the best of the best and the Canes will need to play well if they’re going to continue to build on their lead within the Metropolitan Division.