2019 NHL Playoffs – 2nd Round Preview – NYI vs. CAR

Updated: April 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm by Brock Seguin

The second round of the NHL Playoffs features three matchups that has one well-rested team going head-to-head with a team that went to seven games—the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes is one of those matchups.

The Islanders completed a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins and have not played since April 16th. It took the Hurricanes until double-overtime of Game 7 to get by the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.

New York won the season series 3-1, outscoring Carolina 11-to-7, but have not played each other since January 8th. Prior to that date, the Hurricanes were 20-17-5 (t-17th in the NHL) but were 27-12-2 (3rd) after, so this is a different Hurricanes team than the Islanders saw in the season series. New York was 25-14-3 over that same stretch, so they were two of the hottest teams coming into the playoffs and little separates them as they prepare to do battle in the second round.

NYI (Reg.)

CAR (Reg.)

NYI (Playoffs)

CAR (Playoffs)

RECORD

48-27-7 (5TH)

46-29-7 (11TH)

4-0

4-3

GF/PG

2.72 (22ND)

2.96 (16TH)

3.50 (3rd)

3.00 (t-7th)

GA/PG

2.33 (1ST)

2.70 (8TH)

1.50 (1st)

2.86 (8th)

5V5 SV%

.937 (1ST)

.921 (T-12TH)

.964 (2nd)

.912 (13th)

PP%

14.5% (29TH)

17.8% (20TH)

15.4% (13th)

12.0% (14th)

PK%

79.9 (18TH)

81.6% (8TH)

90.9% (2nd)

75.0% (12th)

CF%

47.85% (26TH)

54.8% (2ND)

44.25% (15th)

59.40% (1st)


5v5

The Hurricanes have been one of the best 5v5 teams in the NHL over the last few seasons, ranking second in CorsiFor% (54.8%), third in ScoringChancesFor/60 (29.8) and first in HighDangerChancesFor/60 (13.62) this season. On the other side of the puck, the Islanders were 26th in CF% and gave up the ninth most ScoringChancesAgainst/60 (27.25) and 16th most HighDangerChancesAgainst/60 (10.79).

Carolina has a clear advantage at 5v5 and should have more success getting to the high-danger areas than the Penguins did in the first round.

Despite the edge in 5v5 play, Robin Lehner should be able to mitigate the Islanders deficiencies and should be able to close the gap and keep the Islanders in the game. The Islanders lack of offence at 5v5 was a concern heading into the Penguins series but players like Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal stepped up, posting a combined four goals and six assists (10 points) at even-strength. Eberle scored a goal in every game but if their regular season was any indication, they could have a difficult time scoring goals, even on Petr Mrazek.

Special Teams

Neither team is known for having a dominant power-play. New York had the third worst power-play in the NHL (14.5%) during the regular season and improved that to just 15.4 percent against the Penguins. The Hurricanes were marginally better in-season but ranked 14th/16 during the first round, converting at just 12.0 percent.

Carolina ranked in the top-10 on the penalty kill during the regular season, which will make it even more difficult on a struggling Islanders’ PP. The Islanders did a phenomenal job against Sidney Crosby and Co. in round one, so we could see the penalty kills dominate the special team’s story, making this a low-scoring series.

Goaltending

Lehner gives the Islanders a big edge between the pipes. Not only is he a Vezina Trophy finalist, but he is first in GAA (1.47) and SV% (.956 SV%) in the playoffs. The Islanders lean heavily on Lehner to play well and if he struggles, they are doomed. The first-year Islander has thrived under Barry Trotz and will be the key to the New York winning or losing this series.

Mrazek had a great playoff resume coming into the postseason but ranks 15th in SV% (.899) after his first seven starts this year. However, Mrazek stopped 71 of 74 (.960 SV%) on home-ice and if the Hurricanes can steal Game 1 or 2 on the road, they could put a lid on the Islanders in Carolina.

Predictions

Brock: Carolina in 6️⃣

Dylan: Islanders in 6️⃣

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Brock Seguin

Brock has been the Editor-In-Chief of DailyFaceoff.com since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Host of the DFO Podcast since 2015 and Editor-In-Chief of DailyDugout since the 2017 season.

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