Somehow despite key injuries and getting outclassed by nearly all NHL statistical metrics the Carolina Hurricanes have a 2-0 series lead over the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Just as impressive is the fact that the first two games were played at New York. Now the series shifts to Raleigh, North Carolina where a raucous college football type of crowd will be ready to blow the roof off of PNC Arena. The question remains about whether Carolina will be able to sustain success with a shorthanded lineup and their top goaltender in questionable status. As for the Islanders their frustration is mounting as their margin for error is down to nothing.
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- Date and Time: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 7 p.mn. ET
- Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
- NHL Betting Online Odds at Betcris: Check Back Later
- Islanders vs. Hurricanes TV Coverage: NBCSN
NHL game one at New York was a tight 1-0 overtime thriller won by the Hurricanes on a goal by Jordan Staal. Petr Mrazek stopped all 31 shots that he faced for the Carolina win. Game two was a strange 2-1 Carolina triumph in which the Hurricanes got two goals in the first minute and five seconds of the third period. Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter lit the lamp for the Hurricanes in a game that the Islanders believe they should have won as the better team.
Carolina’s number one goaltender Petr Mrazek has posted a .913 save percentage in the playoffs so far. But he was injured in game two with a lower body issue that took him off the ice after 26:27 minutes of play. His status going forward is day to day. As a result, Curtis McElhinney came off the bench came to stop all 17 shots that he faced to score the win. The 35-year-old McElhinney is a journeyman with 10 years of NHL experience that was picked up from the Toronto Maple Leafs where he was a backup last year.
For the Islanders Robin Lehner has been outstanding with a playoff save percentage of .952 and a 1.47 goals against average. Lehner is a top candidate for major awards after what has been a profound comeback season in which he posted a .930 save percentage with a 2.13 goals against average. Lehner has overcome personal demons and challenges to have emerged as one of the dominant netminders in the game.
The Matchup’s Top Players
Islanders right winger Jordan Eberle has had a strong playoff season so far with four goals, three assists and a plus six. The eight-year veteran scored 19 goals with 18 assists in the regular hockey season. Additional production for the Islanders has come from left winger Josh Bailey and center Brock Nelson as both have lit the lamp three times each in the NHL playoffs. Nelson is a five year veteran that was one of NYI’s top players this year with 25 goals, 28 assists and a plus 20.
Carolina left winger Warren Foegele has been on fire with five goals, two assists and a plus five. Foegele had only 10 goals and five assists in the regular season. Hurricanes defenseman Jacob Slavin has 10 assists with a plus six while mainstay center Jordan Staal has four goals, three assists and a plus four in post season.
Islanders vs. Hurricanes Free Picks
Look for the Islanders to refocus and get a much-needed win to get back into the series.
Islanders vs. Hurricanes Pick: Bet the New York Islanders
Islanders vs. Hurricanes Score Prediction: Islanders 2, Hurricanes 1
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