Isles' hope confidence carries over to game in Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. -- As much as the New York Islanders needed a victory, they also needed to regain confidence in their back end.
Now they go into Friday night's road game against the Carolina Hurricanes with both.
Each of the teams played Thursday night, with the Islanders defeating the New York Rangers 3-0 while the Hurricanes dropping a 5-2 decision at New Jersey.
"Everyone was on the same page for the most part," Islanders center Mathew Barzal said. "There was a lot of pace to our game."
The Islanders won for only the second time in seven games this month. They had allowed 25 goals in the previous six games, so a shutout was even more rewarding as they attempt to regroup.
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak needed 50 saves for his first shutout of the season.
"He played well, and when we really needed him he came up and made some big saves," right winger Josh Bailey
For the Hurricanes, they'll have a chance to recover from their hiccup with yet another home game. It will be the ninth game on home ice during a 10-game span.
"I think the guys realize it's time," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "I don't want to waste any more time and waste any more opportunities to get points. You've got to play that way, you've got to play that way each and every night."
With Thursday night's setback, it means the Hurricanes failed to match their season-high five-game points streak.
"We believe in ourselves if we just play," Peters said. "If we do our job, the standings will take care of themselves."
Yet the Hurricanes certainly have an eye on the standings.
They also have developed more depth across recent weeks, so there's a chance for lineup changes if Peters and his staff determine there were specific flaws from Thursday night.
"There's probably more flexibility in our lineup now," Peters said. "Now we have more moving parts and a dangerous offense."
Carolina is bound to turn back to goalie Cam Ward after Scott Darling was dinged for five goals in Thursday night's game. Ward has been the primary goaltender for the past month.
Ward is 5-1-1 in his last seven outings. He also was the winner in the Nov. 19 game against the Islanders.
The Islanders had so much attention on their rivalry with the Rangers that they'll certainly have to refocus for this next game.
Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was back in the New York lineup for Thursday night, but it's unclear if it will be that way for a back-to-back when he takes on one of his former teams in Carolina.
The Hurricanes are also a former team for Islanders coach Doug Weight, who played for the 2006 Stanley Cup champions.
The Islanders and Hurricanes split two mid-November games. They also meet March 18 at New York.
For this game, the Hurricanes have a special mother's event, which included players' mothers traveling for Thursday night's game at New Jersey.
"It's a different perspective from the fathers' trip," Peters said. "... fewer cigars and Scotch."
Updated February 15, 2018