Carolina at NY Islanders
When: 5:00 PM
ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
The New York Islanders may be closing down Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the end of this season, but at least they're giving the Long Island faithful plenty for which to cheer. The Islanders look to extend their season-long home dominance Saturday evening as they conclude a four-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders earned their 23rd home win of the season Friday night against Calgary, matching their highest single-season total in more than a decade.
While New York's home success has played a major role in its ascension to the top of the Metropolitan Division, the Hurricanes can pin a great deal of their woes this season on some abysmal play away from Carolina. The Hurricanes come in fresh off consecutive home wins over Philadelphia and Washington, but are just 9-19-2 on the road - tied for the third-fewest wins in the Eastern Conference. Carolina goalie Cam Ward is expected to start Saturday, making his 501st career NHL appearance.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Carolinas, MSG-Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (23-30-7): Carolina doesn't have much else for which to play except prospect evaluation, draft position and postseason spoiler - but the Hurricanes have proven to be a tough out in 2015. The club improved to 13-7-3 in the calendar year with the back-to-back triumphs over Metropolitan Division rivals, and is getting much better goaltending from the tandem of Ward and Anton Khudobin. It was Khudobin who starred in Friday night's 3-0 win over the Capitals, turning aside 28 shots for his first shutout of the season.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (41-20-2): New York has its own feel-good goaltending story, provided by veteran Jaroslav Halak. No netminder in Islanders history had recorded 33 victories in a season until Friday night, when Halak turned aside 26 shots and came within 20 seconds of a shutout en route to the club-record victory over the Flames. The 33 wins - moving him past Billy Smith (1981-82), Chris Osgood (2001-02) and Rick DiPietro (2006-07) - are also a career best for Halak, who may be on the bench Saturday night in favor of Chad Johnson.
1. The Islanders have won four straight meetings after dropping each of the previous six (0-5-1).
2. New York has won seven straight home games against teams with a road winning percentage below .400.
3. Carolina captain Eric Staal has 22 goals and 18 assists in 41 career games against the Islanders.
PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Hurricanes 1
Stats and Records