Still out on the road, the New York Islanders are in Raleigh, North Carolina to face the Carolina Hurricanes who booked their ticket to the postseason yesterday. Unless things drastically change, and quickly, that won't be the same for the Islanders.
And by "drastically change" I mean the teams ahead of the Isles have to start losing a lot of games. The Isles are still 13 points back of the Capitals with 13 games left to play.
Outside of that 3-2 loss to the Stars on Tuesday, the Islanders have played well of late. Going 4-1-0 in their last five, but could there be a change in the lineup anyways?
New York Islanders: Any changes to the lineup?
While Brock Nelson and Anders Lee continue to be productive with seven points (combined) in their last five games. That hasn't exactly been the case for Anthony Beauvillier. The third part of the Isles top line has a single point in his last five.
We know that Barry Trotz likes to create duos and add a third element to make up a full line. Nelson and Lee make a good duo, so could Trotz swap out Beau for someone else? Kyle Palmieri has been quite productive of late with two goals and four points in his last five. Getting a right-shot on that top line, that currently doesn't have one, could be an underappreciated adjustment.
What about any changes in the crease? Ilya Sorokin is healthy enough to sit in the backup's spot and with tonight's game being the first leg of games on back-to-back nights, perhaps he steps in for his first game in almost a month (his last game was on March 13)?
Sorokin hasn't exactly been "good" against Carolina. He's 0-1-0 against them with a 0.875SV% while allowing five goals against in that single outing. But Semyon Varlamov has never suited up against the Hurricanes as a member of the New York Islanders and maybe that continues today.
Islanders Projected Lineup