NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 20th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (24-38-8) at Carolina Hurricanes (37-28-7), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to shore up their playoff
chances with back-to-back wins when they welcome the New York Islanders for a
battle at RBC Center.
The Hurricanes come into tonight with 81 points and are tied with Montreal for
the final two postseason berths in the Eastern Conference.
Carolina had lost three straight games prior to beating visiting New Jersey on
Wednesday night. Anton Babchuk scored a pair of goals as the Hurricanes beat
the Devils, 4-2, on a night Jersey rested all-time wins leader Martin Brodeur.
Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov registered a goal apiece for the Hurricanes,
who are 5-1-2 so far in March.
In his 19th consecutive start, Cam Ward was sharp with 41 saves, as Carolina
won its season-high sixth straight home game. Tonight marks the middle test of
a three-game homestand for the Hurricanes, who are 20-13-1 as the host this
The Islanders are the bottom team in the Eastern Conference, but have won two
of three, four of six and six of their last nine games.
New York has been off since recording a road victory this past Sunday in
Chicago. Mark Streit scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist to
lead the Isles to the 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks at the United Center.
Peter Mannino also earned the win in his first-career start with a 40-save
performance. Mannino was playing in only his second career game after making
his NHL debut against Boston on November 28.
Richard Park and Frans Nielsen also tallied for the Islanders, who have
recorded at least a point in five of their last six games (4-1-1).
New York is playing the fifth segment of a six-game road trip that is
scheduled to end Saturday in Ottawa. The Islanders are just 8-24-3 as the road
club this season.
Carolina is 2-0 against the Islanders this season and recorded both victories
in New York. The 'Canes have taken three of four and six of eight overall in
the series, but the Isles have won two straight and five of nine in Raleigh.
03/20 10:46:00 ET