NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 2nd (All times eastern)
New York Islanders (37-29-10-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (28-33-13-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders attempt to clinch the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference tonight when they visit former coach Peter Laviolette and the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center.
The Isles, who are three points up on ninth-place Buffalo with two games to go, can secure their third consecutive trip to the postseason with a victory.
New York drew closer to the playoffs on Wednesday, as Roman Hamrlik and Mark Parrish each posted two goals and an assist to lead a 5-1 rout of the Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum.
Adrian Aucoin also scored for the Islanders, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Rick DiPietro finished with 20 saves.
If the Isles land a playoff spot, their three straight berths would come on the heels of seven miserable years out of the postseason field. Coincidentally, Laviolette, who will coach the Hurricanes tonight, guided them to the playoffs the past two seasons before being dismissed last summer.
New York will finish the regular season Sunday against visiting Philadelphia.
Carolina, meanwhile, is merely trying to play spoiler at this point, and has lost two straight. On Tuesday the Canes dropped a 3-2 decision Boston at the RBC Center. Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist to lead the Northeast Division-leading Bruins.
Ryan Bayda and Josef Vasicek scored for Carolina, while Kevin Weekes made 26 saves in the loss.
Carolina failed on three attempts on the power play and has not scored on its last 26 tries with the extra skater.
The Hurricanes will finish their campaign Sunday in Florida.
Carolina is 2-1 against New York this season.
04/02 10:14:28 ET