Islanders vs. Carolina: Must Win, Odds, Lineups, TV and more

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 03: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders checks Brett Pesce #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes in the first period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 03: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders checks Brett Pesce #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes in the first period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 03: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders checks Brett Pesce #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes in the first period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 03: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders checks Brett Pesce #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes in the first period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders host the Carolina Hurricanes in a matinee matchup at the Coliseum. Here’s everything to know about the game.

The New York Islanders will drop the puck with the Hurricanes, shortly after 1p.m., in what is a huge game in the playoff race.

The Islanders come in to today with 78 points in 66 games. Carolina is right on their tails with 75 points in 65 games.

The Islanders are only holding on to the second wildcard spot by two points. The Rangers are right behind the Isles, but the Isles have a game in hand on them.

Interesting Stat of the Day:

On Thursday the Islanders dropped their fifth straight game (0-3-2) by losing to the Ottawa Senators 4-3.

Game Recap. Islanders Lose 5th In A Row With Playoffs In Jeopardy

Also on Thursday night, the Hurricanes lost to the Flyers 4-1 in Philadelphia. Carolina was down 2-0 entering the third and scored a goal early in the third to make it 2-1. But Philly Scored two quick goals less than two minutes after Carolina scored to put the game out of reach.

Today will start a back-to-back for Carolina. Tomorrow they will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins at 1:30 p.m.

A win today will give the Islanders much needed distance from Carolina in the playoff race. If the Islanders lose they can be out of a playoff spot real soon.

The Season Series

So far the season series between the Isles and Hurricanes has definitely been in favor of Carolina.

The first time these teams met was on October 11th in Raleigh and this game was lopsided. From puck drop the Hurricanes completely dominated the game. Carolina opened the scoring with a Teuvo Teravainen goal, but the Islanders answered back with a Brock Nelson powerplay goal. The Hurricanes scored again and the first ended 2-1 Carolina.

Johnny Boychuck scored just under two minutes into the second period on the powerplay to tie the game up. After that it was all Hurricanes. Carolina finished the game with three unanswered goals to win 5-2. The shots were 40-19 in favor of Carolina and Thomas Greiss was in net for the loss.

The next time the Isles played Carolina was on January 19th, again in Raleigh. This game was much closer than the first meeting. Andrei Svechnikov started the scoring in the first and the period ended 1-0 Carolina. Anders Lee tied the game in the second and that was it for the scoring.

The game eventually went into a shootout, which lasted eight rounds. Justin Williams scored on Greiss for the game winning shootout goal and Carolina won 2-1.

The Isles will face Carolina one more time after today. That game will be on Sunday March 22nd at the Barclays Center. Puck drop for that game is scheduled for 5pm.

Tale of the Tape

Betting Odds

The Islanders come in today as the the favorites, courtesy of the Action Network.

This matchup does not favor the Islanders. The Islanders have not look good in recent games and in recent seasons they have struggled against Carolina.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 03: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders scores a third period goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the Barclays Center on March 03, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Canadians defeated the Islanders 6-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 03: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders scores a third period goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the Barclays Center on March 03, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Canadians defeated the Islanders 6-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Keys to the Game

Limit Turnovers

In the NHL you cannot turn the puck over. When you give NHL players the puck for free, they are going to make you pay for it.

The Islanders must limit their turnovers!

During their losing streak, the blue and orange have turned the puck over way too many times. Watch a prime example of an Islander turnover get converted into a goal by Montreal below:

If the Islanders want to have success in today’s game and want to make the playoffs, they must solve this problem.

They must not force the puck. The Isles must make simple plays today.

Physical Play

Recently, the Islanders are way to easy of a team to play against. There has been absolutely no push back from the Isles.

They need to bring back their physical play!

The Islanders need to take a page out of the Boston Bruins book. The blue and orange need everyone to play physical and not give up an inch of ice. Look how successful the Bruins are.

Watch how the defenseman on Minnesota knows Boston is going to be physical, so he rushes his pass. This leads to a turnover and one pass later the puck is in Minnesota’s net:

The simple idea that Boston are physical makes their opponents rush plays and force passes because they know they will get hit for holding onto the puck for too long.

Physical play will make the Islanders much tougher to play against and it will force turnovers that may lead to scoring chances.

The Isles must become physical and impose their game on the Hurricanes. There is no better place to start their physical game than on home ice at the Coliseum.

Physical play may make the difference in today’s game.

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 16: Barry Trotz, head coach of the New York Islanders handles bench duties against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 16, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. The Rangers defeated the Islanders 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 16: Barry Trotz, head coach of the New York Islanders handles bench duties against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 16, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. The Rangers defeated the Islanders 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Potential Lineups

New York Islanders

It is expected that we see the Islanders make some changes after losing to the Senators Thursday night.

Unfortunately we do not have any clues as to what the lineup will be today. Yesterday’s practice did not have any definite line combinations.

What we do know is Cal Clutterbuck is doubtful for today’s game. Clutterbuck did not see a shift in the third period on Thursday, due to an unspecified issue. The good news is Cal was on the ice yesterday for practice.

With the lack of support from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines there should be some changes. Trotz hinted at the fact that we could see Ross Johnston and Andrew Ladd back in the lineup soon because they deserve the chance to play.

With those two in the lineup the Islanders could lineup like this:

Lee-Barzal-Eberle
Ladd-Nelson-Brassard
Beauvillier-Pageau-Bailey
Martin-Komarov-Johnston

Greene-Pulock
Toews-Mayfield
Leddy-Dobson

Varlamov (Greiss)

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes have made some changes since they have last played the Isles. They acquired Brady Skjei, Vincent Trocheck and Sami Vatanen at the trade deadline and were definitely gearing up to make a post-season run.

They are led by their top line of (former Islander) Nino Niederreiter, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.

Carolina just announced Thursday, they will be without Brett Pesce. Pesce will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Also, Carolina will be without defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Vatanen, who are both on the injured reserve. According to reports, Vatanen is close to making a return, but suffered a setback on Thursday at the team’s morning skate.

The Hurricanes are expected to line up like this:

Niederreiter-Aho-Teravainen
Dzingel-Staal-Williams
Svechnikov-Trocheck-Necas
Foegele-Martinook-McGinn

Edmundson-Slavin
Fleury-Skjei
Gardiner-VanRiemsdyk

Nedeljkovic (Forsberg)

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Where to Catch the Game

LIVE: Get Tickets Here!

TV: MSG+, MSG GO, ESPN+

RADIO: 88.7FM 103.9FM 98.7FM

Isles Country: Do you think the Islanders will break their losing streak today and get a much needed 2 points? Leave your comments below!

Next. Islanders: Who Is To Blame For The Recent Struggles

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