Game Day (16): Islanders at Hurricanes, 7pm

at
(6-6-3)                     (5-7-3)
PNC Arena — Raleigh, NC
TV: MSG+2 Radio: 88.7, 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Hurricanes…  Carolina had lost five in a row before beating the Flyers 2-1 on Tuesday night… Jeff Skinner and Cam Ward are on injured reserve… Alex Semin is under performing a bit with .5 points per game this season, after having 44 in 44 games last year…

Kevin Schultz

The last time these two teams squared off, Lubomir Visnovsky was in the lineup for the Islanders. That night at the Coliseum, October 19th, Visnovsky took a hit from Riley Nash that left him woozy and needing assistance getting off the ice. Since then, we haven’t heard from or seen Visnovsky who has yet to resume skating. With Brian Strait still out and Matt Donovan (possibly out) with an injury, the Islanders called up Aaron Ness from Bridgeport for tonight’s game. The Isles blue line is banged up, just like Carolina’s netminders.

For Carolina goalies, it’s been a tough year. Off-season acquisition Anton Khudobin hasn’t played since October 13th, sidelined by a lower-body injury. Then all-star Cam Ward went down two weeks later with a lower-body injury. Both players are on IR, meaning the Canes are already down to their third string goalie, Justin Peters. It’s been so bad, the team even recently signed Rick DiPietro to a minor-league tryout, as both of their usual AHL goalies are up with the big club.

To make matters worse in Carolina, the team’s top scorer Jeff Skinner has missed the last five games with an injury and doesn’t appear to be making a return tonight. The Canes haven’t fared well since all the injuries occurred, either. They’re 1-5 in their last six, with only a win over terrible Flyers to show for it.

And yes, Kevin Poulin will get the start in net tonight. Arthur Staple reports that Ness and Colin McDonald are both in although there has been no decision as to who will sit. Here’s a projection:

Projected Lineup:
Vanek-Tavares-Okposo MacDonald-Hamonic Poulin
Bouchard-Nielsen-Bailey Hickey-Martinek Nabokov
Grabner-Regin-Clutterbuck Carkner-Ness
Martin-Cizikas-McDonald
Scratches: Boulton, Donovan, Nelson       IR: Visnovsky, Strait