Pregame 10/19: Islanders vs. Hurricanes

The Islanders home stand continues tonight as they welcome a new division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes to Nassau Coliseum for the first time this season. This will be the first of 4 meetings between the two teams and the first of 2 on Long Island.

Last season the Islanders were 0-2-1 against the Hurricanes dropping both regulation losses on home ice.

Last Time Out

Islanders (3-2-2; 8 points, 3rd Metropolitan): On Thursday they defeated the Oilers 3-2 at home in a come from behind victory after trailing 2-1 at the end of the first period. The Islanders had a strong game overall as they continue to get back on track after losing 3 in a row.

Hurricanes (3-2-3; 9 points, 2nd Metropolitan): On Thursday they defeated the Maple Leafs in Toronto 3-2. The Hurricanes received help from the Maple Leafs on the win when goaltender Jonathan Bernier misplayed a 170-foot clearing attempt by the Hurricanes that turned  into a goal that gave Carolina the a 3-2 victory. This was the first game of a 4 game road trip for Carolina.

Key Opposing Players

Forwards

Eric Staal

Jordan Staal

Jeff Skinner

Defensemen

Justin Faulk

Ryan Murphy

Goaltender

Cam Ward

Islanders Keys to Victory

On Thursday the team did a great job controlling the puck and the pace of the game after a slow start in the first period and they need to do the same against a talented Hurricanes team. This is a team who is hungry for success after a disappointing season a year ago especially with rumors of coach Kirk Muller on the hot seat this season.

The play in net of who starts whether it’s Evgeni Nabokov or Kevin Poulin could continue to determine the outcome for the Islanders. Good goaltending is a big part of victories and the Islanders need a top performance in order to win this game.

The Islanders defense keeps showing signs of improvement after struggles on last weekend’s road trip. Having Matt Donovan back in the lineup anchoring a power play is something that coach Jack Capuano has wanted to see as this team lacks offensive defenseman. The group needs to avoid critical mistakes in key times of the game.

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG Plus 2 and on the radio at 88.7 FM or 103.9 FM. 

-John Santamaria

Follow me @JSantamariaNY and follow us @TCLIsles