Isles Look To Continue Winning Ways Against Hurricanes

The New York Islanders look to continue their winning ways tonight as they face the Carolina Hurricanes in a division-rival match-up.

The Islanders are currently on a three-game winning streak and have won five of their last seven games.

Evgeni Nabokov will be getting the start between the pipes with the same line-up in front of him as Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Islanders will be shooting on Anton Khudobin for the Canes.

The team will be looking for continued offense from Kyle Okposo and Thomas Vanek, both of whom are riding respective eight and seven game point streaks.

Aaron Ness was recently sent back down to Bridgeport with Matt Donovan getting the call back up to the big club. Since being sent back to the Sound Tigers, Donovan has scored three goals and 11 assists in 17 games played.

Hopefully some added conditioning and development in the AHL will better assist Donovan with transitioning his game to the NHL level. He can learn a lot from teammate Calvin de Haan, who earned high marks from the coaching staff recently for his ability to step in and be a key member of the Islanders' defense.

Although Donovan has been recalled from the AHL, he will be a healthy scratch and Matt Carkner will dress for tonight's game.

Despite the fact that the Islanders are bottom dwellers of the Eastern Conference standings, they are only nine points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division. That would also be good enough for eighth place in the East.

A three-game winning streak shouldn't be enough for the Isles' fan base to suddenly expect a resurrection for the Islanders, but stringing along a handful of wins, particularly against division rivals like tonight, would be a major step in the right direction.

The Islanders look to continue their climb up the standings tonight at Nassau Coliseum.

-Rob McGowan