Game Preview: Islanders at Hurricanes

By: David Kolb

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (16-16-8) @ CAROLINA HURRICANES (20-15-7)

BACK-TO-BACK

After defeating the Florida Panthers 5-2 last night, the Isles look to make it two in a row tonight when they take on the Canes in Carolina. The Hurricanes are playing their best hockey of the season, having won three in a row, including Friday’s 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

J.T. POTS THREE

Captain John Tavares notched his first hat trick since 2014 and became the 10th player in Islander history to reach 500 points, Friday vs. the Panthers. No. 91 now has 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points this season. Tavares begins this season-series with Carolina having scored a goal with two assists in four games against the Hurricanes in 2015-2016.

FACING SLICK-SKINNER

Carolina’s leading scorer Jeff Skinner will take the ice tonight with the hot-hand, having scored two goals and an assist Friday vs. Buffalo, giving him six points in his past two games. Carolina’s top pick in the 2010 NHL Draft now has eight points in six games in January, while tallying 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 41 games.

LEDDY LEADING THE D

Nick Leddy continues to lead all Islanders’ defensemen in points this season with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points after picking up a goal and two assists Friday against the Panthers. Leddy has been the catalyst for many offensive opportunities since the turn of the New Year and has scored two goals with three assists in four games in January.

BEAUVILLIER’S BACK

19-year old-rookie Anthony Beauvillier skated in his first game since Dec. 29 and tallied an assist on Jason Chimera’s goal, 2:22 into the first period. The rookie has been taking in games from the press box, however coach Jack Capuano felt the time was right to give the talented rookie another opportunity on the ice. Beauvillier now has four goals and six assists for 10 points in 27 games played.