(1 Million) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (WC1) New York Islanders
Tornadoes: 52-21-9, 113 points
islanders: 42-31-9, 93 points
Series season: car 3-1-0; NYI 1-3-0
Game 1: Monday in the Carolinas (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN360, TVAS2)
The Carolina Hurricanes’ quest to advance to the next stage of the Stanley Cup playoffs will begin against the New York Islanders in the first round of the Eastern Conference.
Carolina hasn’t made it past the second round since sweeping the Islanders in four games to reach the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals. So, after finishing first in their division for the third straight season, including the bottom two in the Capital Division, the Hurricanes know they can’t be satiated.
“That’s quite an accomplishment, 82 games to be the best in your league, and the division we’re in, that says a lot,” Carolina coach Rod Brind Amory said. But that is not our raison d’être. That’s not the reason we came here. Everyone is like, “Uh, it’s okay.” “But we have bigger things, which we obviously want to achieve.”
The Islanders returned to the playoffs after failing to qualify last season and will capitalize on their experience by advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Semi-Finals in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
“I’m so excited,” said the New York captain. dress me up He said. “It’s been a long year here to get to this point. It took us 82 (games to qualify) so now we’re back where we feel we belong, and now we have to go to work here.”
However, the inhabitants of the island will be full of typhoons. Only the Boston Bruins, who set NHL records with 65 wins and 135 points, have more wins and points than Carolina.
“It’s going to be a tough series, I think, no matter who you play against, but Carolina is a tough team to play against,” the New York Center said. Bo Horvat He said. “They are clearly playing a tough game. They are relentless in the fore-check and even in [defensive] zonal, so it is very powerful throughout its range. But I think we are playing well against them. We must be at our best. »
Tornadoes: Sebastian Aho He led Carolina in scoring for the sixth consecutive season (36) and was second in points with 67 (Martin Nicas, 71) in 75 games. Ahu, the forward, scored 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 48 playoff games. with before Andrei Svechnikov (23 goals) After undergoing knee surgery at the end of the season, the focus will be more on Ahu.
Video: CAR @ PHI: Aho scores career hat-trick in the overtime win
islanders: Matthew Barzalthat it Back from a lower body injury who has kept the striker away since February 18th will be a huge boost for New York. Although the Islanders have gone 14-7-2 in their last 23 regular season games without Barzal, he is their most dynamic offensive player. It still ranks second behind New York in points with 51 (14 goals and 37 assists) in 58 games (Brooke Nelson led 75).
Tornadoes: He probably looks charming Frederick Andersen And You are ranta All of them will play in the series, and ascending Pyotr Kochetkov He is called up with Chicago in the American Hockey League if necessary. During the regular season, Andersen posted a 21-11-1 record with a 2.48 goals against average, . 903 save percentage and one shutout. Raanta was 19-3-3 with a 2.23 GAA, . 910 save percentage, and four shutouts. Kochetkov was 12-7-5 with a 2.44 GAA, . 909 save percentage, and four shutouts.
islanders: Ilya Sorokin He entered the playoffs as the No. 1 guard for the first time after going 31-22-7 with a 2.34 GAA, a . 924 save percentage, and a league-leading six shutouts over the course of the regular season. Among goaltenders who have started at least 41 games, only Linus Allmark of the Boston Bruins has a better GAA (1.89) and a better save percentage (0.938). Keep Semyon Varlamov1 goalie, last making the playoffs in 2021, was 11-9-2 with a 2.70 GAA, 0.913 save percentage and two shutouts this season.
Numbers to know
Tornadoes: Carolina has led the NHL with 59 goals scored by defenders this season, including 18 each. Brent burns And Brady Skegee. Carolina is second in the NHL in penalty kills with 84.4%, but ranks 20th in power with 19.8%, including 11.3% in the last 21 games. The Hurricanes finished third in the NHL averaging 34.8 shots on target per game and allowed a league low of 26.0 per game. The Hurricanes led the NHL in differential shooting attempts 5-on-5 at plus-1,530. The Calgary Flames (plus 1120) were the only other better than plus-700 team.
islanders: Nelson’s 36 goals are one short of his highest in the NHL last season. New York ranks 30th in the NHL in power play percentages at 15.8%, including a 10.9% drop in the NHL in the last 23 games without Barzal. The Islanders ranked ninth in shots on goal, at 82.2%. New York ranks fifth in the NHL with 2,139 drives Matt Martin with 295, and fifth in blocked shots with 1,323, led by Scott Mayfield with 168.
Tornadoes: Burns had just entered his first season with Carolina after securing a trade from the San Jose Sharks in the offseason. The defenseman finished third on the Hurricanes with 61 points (18 goals, 43 assists) and averaged 23:13 ice time in 82 regular season games. The 38-year-old veteran, who has played 94 NHL games, will bring the experience and offensive spark to the defense that Carolina lacked when they lost to the New York Rangers in the second round of the conference, which is last season.
islanders: Horvat could benefit more from Barzal’s return and regaining the scoring touch New York was craving when they got the job in a trade from the Vancouver Canucks on January 30. Horvat scored seven goals in 30 games for the Islanders after hitting 31 in 49 games for the Canucks, but he scored three goals and appeared to have a good chemistry with Barzal in seven games together before suffering an injury.
Video: SEA @ NYI: Horvat scores the first goal for the Islanders
They said so
“We have a lot of confidence going into the playoffs. It’s a really good margin, so being first is huge and we have to keep going from here.” Hurricane defense Jalen Chatfield
“He is an integral part of this team and has tremendous talent, pace and playing ability. So he adds another dimension to our group, which we have been missing. We are happy to see him again.” Bo Horvat Islands Center on the expected return of Matthew Barzal
He will win if…
Tornadoes: They score enough targets off their top six attackers to help out the top six, stay healthy, and can create some power plays. Carolina still makes 5-on-5 chances with her forward check, but will need to convert enough against Sorokin.
islanders: Sorokin is at the top of his game, Barzal’s comeback sparks offense, especially power play, and their defense can withstand the pressure of the Hurricanes in a relentless attack zone. cannon Alexander Romanov Coming back from an occasional upper body injury (he’ll miss the first game at least) will also help.
what do you look like
The expected extent of hurricanes
Teofo Teravainen – Sebastian Aho – Seth Jarvis
Stefan Noesen – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Martin Nicas
Jordan Martinock – Jordan Stahl – Jesper is fast
Jack Drury – Paul Stastney – Jesse Polijarvi
Jacob Slavin – Brent Burns
Brady Skegee – Brett Pesci
Justisbear brilliance – Galen Chatfield
You are ranta
scratched: Dylan CoghlanAnd Calvin de HaanAnd Derek Stepan
Harm: Andrey Svishnikov (knee surgery), Max Pacioretty (achilles), Ondrej Casey (concussion)
The expected composition of the population of the islands
Anders Lee – Bo Horvat – Matthew Barzal
Pierre Engvall -Brooke Nelson- Kyle Palmieri
Zack Paris – Jean Gabriel Bagot – Hudson Fashion
Matt Martin- Casey Cyzikas – Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Bellick – Ryan Bullock
Sebastian Aho Scott Mayfield
Samuel Bolduc – Noah Dobson
scratched: Simon HolmstromAnd Josh BaileyAnd Ross JohnstonAnd Parker Wotherspoon
Harm: Alexander Romanov (upper body), Olivier Wallström (lower body)