Oct 17, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) makes a save in front of Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall (4) and Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) during the second period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NYIHC Pregame Report: Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

 

The New York Islanders Hardcore’ Pregame Report:

CAROLINA HURRICANES vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Tonight, the New York Islanders (3-2-2, 8 pts) host the Carolina Hurricanes (3-2-3, 9 pts) in game no. 8 of the 2013-14 NHL season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…

 

Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
When: Saturday Oct. 19th, 7:00 p.m. EST
Watch: MSG+
Listen: WRHU 88.7FM, WRCN 103.9FM

 

This is the first of four meetings this season between the new Metropolitan Division rivals. However, there’s recent history between New York and Carolina: the Isles went 0-2-1 against the Canes in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 NHL season, including two two-goal losses at the Coliseum.

The Isles snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers Thursday night, their second consecutive game in which they recorded 40+ shots on goal. After playing back-to-back games in which they only recorded 19 and 16 SOG, the Islanders got more pucks on net against a young Oilers team and were clearly dominant in their puck possession.

Except for an eight-second stretch in the first period—when Edmonton’s Taylor Hall netted two goals to give his team the lead—the Isles controlled the pace of play for long stretches of game time, showing the franchise’s hallmark work ethic.

Like the Islanders, the Hurricanes are also coming into tonight’s game on the heels of a win after a three-game losing streak. The Canes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 at Air Canada Centre on the strength of three unanswered third-period goals. Carolina currently sits in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one spot ahead of the Isles.

Jeff Skinner leads the Hurricanes in scoring with a team-high eight points (2G, 6A). The Islanders will be focused on shutting him down tonight by employing the same kind of dominant possession game that earned them the win against Edmonton.

The Isles will counter with captain John Tavares—currently riding a six-game point streak—who’s always played well against Carolina. Tavares has recorded 17 points (9G, 8A) in seven games played against the Canes since the 2011-12 season.

 

What They’re Saying…

Your goalie has to be your best player sometimes, and Nabby certainly was, especially for the three penalties we had to kill. He was our best guy tonight.
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on Evgeni Nabokov’s play against Edmonton

 

Next thing I know it was in the net. I said to [assistant coach John MacLean], ‘What just happened?’ He said: ‘I think we just scored. I think it’s going to count.’
Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller on Ron Hainsey’s bizarre game-winning goal against Toronto

 

Quick Hitters…

  • John Tavares has at least one point in six straight games (4G, 5A). The only game this season in which he did not record a point was the season opener.
  • The Islanders have earned a point in each of their last 10 regular season home games (7-0-3) dating back to last season.
  • Andrew MacDonald leads the NHL with 24 blocked shots.
  • Evgeni Nabokov’s 338 career victories rank 18th on the NHL all time wins list. He ranks 19th all time in shutouts with 55.

 

Projected Lineup:

40 Grabner – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo
12 Bailey – 51 Nielsen – 96 Bouchard
26 Moulson – 16 Regin – 15 Clutterbuck
17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 13 McDonald

47 MacDonald – 3 Hamonic
11 Visnovsky – 14 Hickey
37 Strait – 7 Carkner

20 Nabokov
60 Poulin

Scratches: 36 Boulton, 46 Donovan, 29 Nelson

 

Andy Graziano (@tazman19) will be covering the game live from the press box. Join the EOI staff in the comments section below for in-game coverage and assorted displays of homerism.

 

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