Two hot teams roll into Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum as the Carolina Hurricanes test their four game win streak against the New York Islanders who have won six straight. The Islanders have been the better team both lately and this season, but still only have the first wild card spot to show for it. They can finish the evening as high as second place in the Metropolitan division with a win assuming the Columbus Blue Jackets lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning (likely) and the Pittsburgh Penguins lose to the Florida Panthers (not so much) or they could be on the outside looking in with a loss and a point from the Buffalo Sabres over the New Jersey Devils and a win by the Montreal Canadiens over the Detroit Red Wings.
The Islanders will get the services of Valtteri Filppula back tonight while losing the services of Joshua Ho-Sang. Filppula has been out with an injury of course and his return solidifies the Islanders centre depth. Ho-Sang played ten games with the Islanders and in five-on-five score adjusted situations he leads the team in relative shot attempt for percentage, relative unblocked shot attempt percentage, and relative shots on goal percentage which makes his demotion questionable-at-best.
Thomas Greiss has a goals against average of .99 against the Hurricanes this year and is expected to start. Despite Robin Lehner’s string of success, Greiss still has the higher delta save percentage than him and he still deserves his starts. Having two goalies more than living up to their contracts is a good problem to have.
The Islanders can sweep the series from Carolina with a victory here tonight. They would also have their first seven game win streak since 1989-1990. The game starts at 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.