Pregame Report: Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

Feb 11, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center

Frans Nielsen

(center) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Eyes On Isles Pregame Report


Tonight, the New York Islanders (6-6-3, 15 points) take on the Carolina Hurricanes (5-7-3, 13 points) in Game 16 of the 2013-14 NHL Season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…

Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

When: 11/7/13, 7:00 PM EST

Watch: MSG +2 (HD)- Howie Rose, Butch Goring 

Listen: WRHU 88.7 FM, 103.9 FM – Chris King

Tonight, the New York Islanders play their second game of their four game road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the second meeting between these two teams this season.

The Islanders are coming off what was a very disappointing game against the Washington Capitals. After scoring the only first period goal, the Islanders were outscored 5-1 in the second period, and the game was virtually over after that.

As expected following the game, the Islanders did address their need of another defenseman. Just hours ago, Arthur Staple of Newsday reported the Islanders recalled Aaron Ness from Bridgeport. Ness, who has played with the team briefly in the 2011-12 season currently has one goal and three assists in nine games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

You can hear Art talk about the defense and the entire state of the Islanders right here on the Dump and Chase podcast.

As our own Shane Blackburn wrote  in a piece a few days ago, Ness is the most NHL ready of the entire lot in Bridgeport in terms of defensive play. While his offensive performance may not be the highest of the Islanders’ defensive prospects, his defensive capability has progressed better than most if not all of the prospects down in Bridgeport.

 After a sub-par (but not terrible) performance in goal by Evgeni Nabokov, backup goaltender Kevin Poulin will get the start in net tonight. Poulin has looked good in his recent outings, and with his confidence being high right now after a very solid performance against Boston, he could prove to be effective again tonight.

More positive news for the Islanders came today as Colin McDonald is set to play tonight after coming back from injury. The fourth liner is expected to take the spot of current occupant Brock Nelson.

As for Carolina, Justin Peters will get the start tonight amidst injuries from their regular starter Cam Ward and their backup Anton Khudobin. Peters through six games has posted a .902 SV% along with a GAA of 3.05.

With that said, tonight should be a high scoring team for a powerful offensive team in the New York Islanders. The team’s first line with new addition Thomas Vanek has visibly gotten more comfortable with one another. As for Carolina, it’s hard to tell which side of Kevin Poulin will show up. He could play great like he did against Boston, or he could show signs of his play last year, which for the most part wasn’t all that great.

Regardless of what Poulin we see however, the Islanders better be the team that comes out with two points. They should be hungry to win after a rough loss, and with a struggling defense and a struggling goalie pitted against them, they should find a way to win tonight.

What They’re Saying…

“The defensive consistency is not there…and discipline consistency,” said Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov following the Islanders’ 6-2 loss in Washington. (link)

Coach Jack Capuano during his post game presser on Tuesday night:”You give up four power play goals, you’re not going to win the game.  I don’t think we played that bad (in our zone), but the difference was the four power play goals.” (link)

Carolina Coach and Former “Islander” Kirk Muller: “When you have a team that’s not scoring a lot of goals right now, it’s a great opportunity for him to play on the power play and play on the third line and get the minutes… It’s a great opportunity for him to chip in offensively and help us win hockey games.”

Aaron Ness on being recalled o Bridgeport: “I feel really good right now… it’s always exciting to get that call.” (link)

Capuano on Colin McDonald‘s return: “To get that line back is obviously good for us…. He’s practiced the last few days and should be in there pain free.” (link)

Quick Hitters…

  • Kevin Poulin is 2-1-0 in his career vs. Carolina
  • An Islanders’ defenseman has recorded a point in 11 consecutive games
  • Kyle Okposo is currently 4th in the NHL scoring race
  • The Islanders have scored at least two goals every game this season
  • Carolina is 27th in the league in goals scored

Projected Lineup

26 Vanek – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo

96 Bouchard – 51 Neilsen – 12 Bailey

40 Grabner- 16 Regin – 15 Clutterbuck

17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 13 McDonald

3 Hamonic – 47 MacDonald

14 Hickey – 46 Donovan

55 Ness – 4 Martinek

60 Poulin

20 Nabokov

Scratches: 36 Boulton (healthy), 7 Carkner (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Brian Strait, Lubomir Visnovsky

Please join us in the comment section below for in-game discussion and commentary.