NHL Playoff Preview: Hurricanes vs Islanders

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With a win on April 14th, the Carolina Hurricanes have clinched the Metropolitan Division title for a second consecutive season. The Hurricanes also set a franchise record for average attendance. (Photo courtesy of Jack Short)

The path to the Stanley Cup Finals is set for the Carolina Hurricanes and the first team standing in their way are the New York Islanders. Games 1 and 2 will be in Raleigh on April 17 and 19 before heading to New York on April 21st and 23rd for games 3 and 4. 

Over the course of the season, the Canes have lost a few key contributors due to injury. Two of their top goal scorers, Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty, suffered season ending lower body injuries and will not be able to play in the playoffs. 

With that being said, goaltender Antti Raanta has returned from injury, and he will definitely play in the Canes opening series. His recent success combined with the poor play of starting goaltender Freddie Andersen will make playing time decisions really interesting.

The Hurricanes will look to their big three scorers in Aho, Jarvis, and Teräväinen to generate grade A chances in the offensive zone. Injuries have crippled the Canes’ forwards, so players like Jack Drury and Jasper Fast will need to get pucks to the net to create chances.

Unlike most teams, the Canes rely heavily on their defenseman to score goals. They led the NHL in goals by D-men with 59. That number is also good for Carolina’s franchise record. Brent Burns and Brady Skjei have been veteran leaders for the Canes all season and will play huge roles in the offensive zone. 

Get ready Raleigh, playoff hockey is back.

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