Game Day Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders

Carolina Hurricanes (23-20-7) vs New York Islanders (22-18-9)

The Carolina Hurricanes take on the New York Islanders tonight at the Barclays Center.  This is the second of five meetings between the Metropolitan Division rivals, and the Hurricanes got the best of the Islanders in their January matchup.  Both teams are tied in the standings, but the Islanders have one game in hand on the Canes.  Tonight’s game will be a tightly contested affair between

two teams on the back-end of back-to-back games, and both teams are playing good hockey recently.

The Hurricanes are fresh off of a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.  The Canes used the All-Star break effectively, and put their recent five-game losing streak behind them.  Watch for them to continue to play confident hockey tonight against the Islanders and get two important points in a tight playoff race.

Game Day By the Numbers

Hurricanes Islanders
Record 23-20-7 22-18-9
Last Result 2-1 W vs EDM 5-4 L @ DET
Last 10 5-5-0 7-2-1
FO% 51.6% 49.1%
ES CF% 52.07% 46.72%
GF/GP 2.62 2.90
PP% (Goals) 17.4% (26) 15.3% (22)
SH% (Goals) 88.1% (6) 80.5% (3)

Who’s Hot

Sebastian Aho’s name should be engraved in this Category.  It took Aho a little while to get adjusted to the NHL, but as he is figuring out the league he is starting to transform in front of our eyes.  Aho is becoming a dominant two-way forward who, not only has a goal scoring touch the Hurricanes desperately need, but also backchecks hard and plays great defensively.

Klas Dahlbeck has struggled to crack the Hurricanes lineup this year and when he has, he hasn’t done much to impress.  That wasn’t the case last night against the Oilers.  In just over twelve minutes of ice-time, Dahlbeck had a CF% of 85.71 and was on the ice for 18 shot attempts for the Canes.  Those are ridiculous numbers from someone who barely cracks the lineup on a nightly basis.  Granted, the Oilers were a one-line team last night and Dahlbeck only saw one or two shifts against that line.  We need to give credit where credit is due, though.  Dahlbeck and Hanifin did a good job of making sure whatever line they were lined up against didn’t get much offensively.

Storylines

The decision for starting goaltender is up in the air for tonight.  Bill Peters has expressed his intent to get Lack into a game soon.  Ward, however,  looked sharp in his last two games only giving up two goals against.  It is likely that Peters will go back to Ward while he is hot.  Lack could face the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night in D.C.

The Islanders are in the midst of the relocation speculation that the Hurricanes know all too well.  Watch for the Canes to try and capitalize on a distracted Islanders team.

Follow @CardiacCane for any news and lineup changes.

Lineup

Hurricanes
Forwards
Skinner Ryan Stempniak
Aho Staal Lindholm
McGinn Rask Teravainen
Nordstrom McClement Stalberg
Defense
Slavin/Pesce
Faulk/Hainsey
Hanifin/Dahlbeck
Goalies
Ward
Lack

How To Watch

Barclays Center: Puck Drop at 7:00 pm ET

Watch: Fox Sports Carolinas / Fox Sports Go app

Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan / WRALsportsfan.com

LiveTweet: @CardiacCane

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