The NY Islanders kick off the Stanley Cup Playoffs as they head down to Raleigh, North Carolina for Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Islanders entered Game No. 82 still not knowing whether or not it would be their last game. Well, they made sure that it wasn’t. Needing a win over the Montreal Canadiens to clinch a playoff spot, Brock Nelson came to play scoring two goals to get his season total up to 36, one shy of his career high. Hudson Fasching and Anders Lee each netted a tally as well, leading the Isles to a 4-2 win at UBS Arena.
The Hurricanes also played a meaningful Game No. 82. Looking to win the Metropolitan Division for the third consecutive season, the 'Canes took a trip down to Sunrise, Florida to play a Florida Panthers team looking to avoid a date with the President's Trophy winning Boston Bruins. In what turned out to be a very high-scoring affair, Carolina produced a four-goal third period, propelling them to a 6-4 victory. It was a big night for 38-year-old Brent Burns, who scored goals number 17 and 18 in the win.
The Isles and Canes met four times this season. It was New York who picked up a dominant 6-2 win way back in late October. Since then, though, the season series was all Carolina. 3-0, 5-2, and 2-1 wins allowed the Hurricanes to win the season series 3-1.
These two teams have met just once in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Once again, it was all Carolina, as they swept the Islanders in the second round of the 2019 postseason.
Players to Watch
Mathew Barzal returning to the Isles’ lineup is huge news. But it’s tough to say that anyone is more excited than Bo Horvat. After being acquired at the trade deadline, Horvat was put on the same line as Barzal and it didn’t take long for the two to become a lethal duo. Now that #13 is back, Horvat can get some pressure off his shoulders and play more freely.
In a battle of Sebastian Aho’s, it’s Carolina’s Aho that is the most dangerous. The 25-year-old led his team in goals this season with 36 and with Andrei Svechnikov out with an injury, Aho is looking to do all he can to make up for the loss of his offensive production.
Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise-JG Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Samuel Bolduc-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
Teuvo Teravainen-Sebastian Aho-Seth Jarvis
Stefan Noesen-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook-Jordan Staal-Jesper Fast
Jack Drury-Paul Stasny-Derek Stepan
Jaccob Slavin-Brent Burns
Brady Skjei-Brett Pesce
Shayne Gostisbehere-Jalen Chatfield