Islanders Face Hurricanes in Game 1 of Eastern Conference 1st-Round Series

The Islanders and Hurricanes face off in a rematch of last year's playoffs, with the Hurricanes favored to win Game 1 despite the Islanders' recent hot streak. Goaltending and special teams will be key factors in the series.

Salman Khan
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Islanders Face Hurricanes in Game 1 of Eastern Conference 1st-Round Series

Islanders Face Hurricanes in Game 1 of Eastern Conference 1st-Round Series

The New York Islanders will face the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference 1st-round playoff series on Saturday at 5:00 PM ET at Scotiabank Arena. The Hurricanes are favored to win the series opener despite the Islanders winning both regular-season meetings in Raleigh.

In the regular season, the Islanders and Hurricanes split their four-game series, with the road team winning each game. The Islanders closed the season with a 5-4 win over the Penguins, while the Hurricanes fell 6-3 to Columbus in their final game.

The Hurricanes boast the NHL's top power play at a 28.6% success rate, while the Islanders have the sixth-best penalty killing unit. The Islanders will need to stay disciplined and avoid taking penalties to prevent the Hurricanes from capitalizing on their lethal power play.

Goaltending will be a key factor in the series. The Hurricanes are expected to start Frederik Andersen, who has been strong since returning from injury in March. The Islanders will likely counter with either Ilya Sorokin or Semyon Varlamov.

The Islanders enter the series riding an 8-0-1 hot streak in their final nine games, while the Hurricanes have been on a strong 16-4-1 run since the trade deadline on March 7th. Both teams are dealing with some injury concerns, as the Hurricanes will be without forward Jesper Fast (upper-body injury) and the Islanders lost forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau to a lower-body injury in their final regular-season game.

Why this matters: The Islanders-Hurricanes series is a rematch of last year's first-round matchup, which the Hurricanes won in six games. The winner of this series will face either the New York Rangers or Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

According to, the Hurricanes have a 62% probability of winning Game 1, with the Islanders having a 62% chance of covering the puck line. The over/under total of 5.5 goals has a 51% chance of going under. "The Hurricanes are the heavy favorites at home, with -227 moneyline odds, while the Islanders are at +185," the analysis states. The game is expected to be a close, low-scoring affair, with the under 5.5 goals being a recommended play for the series opener and potentially the entire series.

Key Takeaways

  • Islanders face Hurricanes in Game 1 of Eastern Conference 1st-round playoff series.
  • Hurricanes have the NHL's top power play, while Islanders have the 6th-best penalty kill.
  • Goaltending will be crucial, with Andersen for Hurricanes and Sorokin/Varlamov for Islanders.
  • Islanders enter hot, Hurricanes on strong run since trade deadline, both have injury concerns.
  • Hurricanes favored to win Game 1, but Islanders likely to cover puck line in a low-scoring affair.