Round 1, Game 6 Preview: NY Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes
After starting the series and losing both games in Carolina, the NY Islanders won two of the last three games against the Carolina Hurricanes. While this game marks the second win-or-go-home game in a row for the blue and orange, today's game will be back on home ice and an opportunity to force a Game 7.
Last game, the Islanders would quickly get ahead of the Hurricanes after a Pierre Engvall goal in the first period. Brock Nelson would give the Islanders a two-goal lead early in the second period. After the Hurricanes picked up a goal of their own, a goal late in the second period by Mat Barzal would be the deciding factor, giving the Islanders the 3-2 win in Carolina.
The Islanders first line played much better this game, although it still needs work. Bo Horvat finally got his first point of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as he found Barzal for what would be the game-winning goal. It's time for Horvat to earn his contract and continue to show up big in tonight's game. It was also nice to see Engvall get on the score sheet, as he has played surprisingly well.
""You've seen this from this group a lot this year. It's a resilient group," Anders Lee said. "Our road just to get in wasn't that easy. We had to pull ourselves out of a hole after tough stretches, but we believe in one another. We believe in this group and what we can do and how we can play. That was no different coming into this evening.""- Anders Lee on being down 3-1
Last game for the Hurricanes, they wouldn't quite play their best hockey. Goals by Paul Statsny and Sebastian Aho would put the Hurricanes on the board, but it would not be enough as they would fall to the Islanders on their home ice. However, make no mistake about it, this Hurricanes team is probably as dangerous as it gets.
Players to Watch
Simply put, the entire first line is the main thing to watch for the Islanders. The line consisting of Anders Lee, Bo Horvat, and Mat Barzal has not been producing much in the playoffs. In order for the Islanders to have a chance in Game 6 and Game 7, the first line has to show up. The first line, in total, tallied four goals and one assists this series. When comparing it to Carolina's top line, this is simply not good enough play for who are supposed to be the Islanders' top players.
Aside from the fact that the Hurricanes are all around a good team, their two biggest players to watch are Sebastian Aho and Brent Burns. Aho continues to remain the workhorse of the Canes, picking up six points so far in the playoffs off of three goals and three assists. The same can be said about Burns who has been a stud at finding wide-open teammates, picking up five assists in the process.
Anders Lee- Bo Horvat- Mat Barzal
Pierre Engvall- Brock Nelson- Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise- JG Pageau- Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin- Casey Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech- Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho- Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov- Noah Dobson
Mackenzie Maceachern- Sebastian Aho- Seth Jarvis
Jordan Martinook- Jesperi Kotkaniemi- Martin Necas
Stefan Noesen- Jordan Staal- Jesper Fast
Derek Stepan- Paul Statsny- Jesse Puljujarvi
Jaccob Slavin- Brent Burns
Brady Skjei- Brett Pesce
Shayne Gostisbehere- Jalen Chatfield