Game 1 Preview: NY Islanders @ Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages


The NY Islanders closed their 2023-24 regular season with a 5-4 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game had no impact on where the Isles finished in the standings, leading to Mat Barzal, and Pierre Engvall sitting the night out, while Anders Lee missed the game due to the birth of his son. The name of the game seemed to be to get the puck to Kyle Palmieri so he could reach the 30-goal mark for the second time in his career, and in the second period, Brock Nelson slid the puck across to Palmieri on the power play as he buried a shot off a one-timer. Ruslan Iskhakov made his NHL debut, recording his first career point on Samuel Bolduc's second goal of the season.

There was nothing at stake for the Carolina Hurricanes in game 82 as well, beaten by the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road by a score of 6-3. The 'Canes sat many of their stars including Sebastian Aho and Jake Guentzel as the main goal was to enter the playoffs healthy.


The Islanders finished the season 2-1-1 against the Hurricanes, and face their divisional foes in the playoffs for the third time in six seasons. Last year the Hurricanes eliminated the Islanders in six games, advancing off an OT goal in Game 6. The 'Canes took a 3-1 series lead over the Islanders, as the Isles battled back to force a Game 6 at UBS Arena. Paul Stastny's OT goal from a bad angle was the final nail in the coffin for the Islanders, as they've yet to defeat the Hurricanes in a postseason series.


Pierre Engvall has been wildly inconsistent this season but picked up his play during the final stretch helping the Islanders qualify for the playoffs. He finished with four points over his final five games, including a game-tying goal against the Montreal Canadiens to keep the Islanders in third place in the Metro Division. His speed has been a major factor in his recent run of play, finding ways behind the defense and pressuring on the forecheck. He'll need to continue playing like he is if the Isles hope to advance to the second round

Frederik Andersen missed most of the season due to a blood clot but has been a wall for Carolina since returning. He's 13-2 in 16 starts this season, posting a 1.84 GAA and .932 Sv%. Goaltending has been the one weakness for the Hurricanes over the last few seasons and is typically the one area the Islanders hold an advantage. If Andersen continues this run of play along with the pressure the 'Canes' defense always puts on the opposition, it'll be quite difficult for the Islanders to find much success.



Casey Cizikas - Bo Horvat - Mathew Barzal
Hudson Fasching - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee - J.G. Pageau* - Pierre Engvall
Matt Martin - Kyle MacLean - Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov - Sebastian Aho
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Mike Reilly - Robert Bortuzzo

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin

*JG Pageau remains a game-time decision


Jake Guentzel - Sebastian Aho - Seth Jarvis
Teuvo Teravainen - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook - Jordan Staal - Andrei Svechnikov
Jack Drury - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Stefan Noesen

Jacob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Dmitry Orlov - Jalen Chatfield

Frederik Andersen
Pyotr Kochetkov