The New York Islanders’ newest setting in their fight for survival is in Raleigh, NC for a date with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Entering the day with 88 points, the Islanders are five back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final Eastern Conference postseason spot with three games left to play.
While they need to win each of their remaining games, preferably in regulation, a Toronto win on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning will eliminate New York from playoff contention.
Any kind of Islanders loss will also force the team to pack their bags and head home at the end of the regular season.
The Hurricanes have provided plenty of problems for the Islanders this season, winning three of the first four meetings. In those three losses, the Islanders allowed a combined 20 goals.
New York will turn to Jaroslav Halak in net and go with the same lineup that delivered a win on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators:
Anders Lee-Anthony Beauvillier-Josh Ho-Sang
Andrew Ladd-Alan Quine-Jason Chimera
Thomas Hickey-Brock Nelson-Josh Bailey
Stephen Gionta-Connor Jones-Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy-Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan-Dennis Seidenberg
Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Of note, Thomas Hickey will play his second-career game at left wing. It will be difficult for the defenseman to top his first game as a forward as he scored the game-winning overtime goal on Tuesday against Nashville.
It looks like interim head coach Doug Weight is going to go down swinging with the kids, too. His first line consists of the 19-year-old Anthony Beauvillier at center and 21-year-old Josh Ho-Sang on right wing. Both are rookies.