NY Islanders Aim to be 4th NHL Team to Complete Reverse Sweep

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NY Islanders have put themselves in a deep hole and have some steep climbing if they hope to advance to the second round of the NHL Playoffs. With a stranglehold on the series, the Carolina Hurricanes have just one more game to win to book a date with either the New York Rangers or Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

The Islanders have lost their three games in this series in a different fashion each game. In Game 1, the Isles played well enough to win, but couldn't capitalize on goal-scoring opportunities, ultimately falling 3-1. In Game 2 they had a three-goal lead, but played arguably their worst game of the season, allowing Carolina to mount a comeback and take Game 2, 5-3. Game 3 may have been the Isles' best performance of the postseason, but leaky goaltending from Ilya Sorokin saw the Isles get behind the 8 ball, coming up just short of a comeback, losing 3-2.

If the Islanders hope to make it past the Hurricanes, they'll have to pull off the reverse sweep, winning four games in a row after trailing 3-0 in the series. There have been 208 instances a team has trailed 3-0 and only four times has the trailing team won the next four games.

The first came during the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals, as the Toronto Maple Leafs trailed the Detroit Red Wings 3-0, mounting a comeback to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.

The second was by the 1975 Islanders during the first postseason in franchise history. Trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins by three games, Ed Westfall netted the game's only goal for a 1-0 win, completing the reverse sweep. The following round the Islanders trailed again 3-0, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders fought back to force a Game 7 but ultimately ran out of gas.

The next two were in more recent memory with the Boston Bruins completing the comeback on the Flyers in 2010, and the LA Kings taking down the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, fighting their way to a Stanley Cup victory.

If the Islanders hope to become the fifth team to replace the reverse sweep, they'll need to do so against who many consider the Stanley Cup favorites. All cylinders will need to be firing starting tomorrow night, and they'll need to hope for Lady Luck to be on their side.