Where: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY.
When: Friday, April 26, 7PM EST
How (TV/Radio): NBCSN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVAS | WFAN
The regular season left much to be desired when it came to offense for the New York Islanders. When it comes to the major statistics, New York ranked above 20th in only one category – their 15th best shooting percentage. They had the 22nd fewest goals and average the 28th fewest shots per game. They also ranked 29th in the NHL in both powerplay and faceoff wins.
The powerplay for the Isles was still relatively lacklustre during round one (15 percent success) but the team did manage to put 16 goals into the Penguins net in only four games – giving them a 3.5 goals-per-game average.
Carolina weren’t without their offensive struggles this season either. Although they led the league in shots, they were only 16th in goals scored, giving them the league’s 26th-worst shooting percentage. Their powerplay was ranked 20th and their faceoff win percentage was ranked 24th overall.
The first round of the playoffs saw the Hurricanes net 21 goals – averaging 3 per game. But the Canes, too, didn’t have much luck on the powerplay – going only 12 percent on the powerplay against the Capitals. They averaged 33.4 shots per game.
The New York Islanders number one defender this season was goalie Robin Lehner. Lehner was a huge part in the Islanders ending their regular season ranked first-overall for fewest goals against even though they allowed the 12th-most shots against. The Isles also suffered from some poor penalty killing – finishing the year ranked 17th.
Their first round against the Penguins saw some improvements. Throughout the four games, New York had a 90.9 percent success rate when it came to killing penalties. They also only allowed six goals all series.
Carolina’s season on defense was a little more consistent than their opponents. The Canes finished tied at seventh for fewest goals against, third in the league for fewest shots against, and had the eighth best penalty kill in the NHL.
The Hurricanes went to a double-overtime game seven with the Washington Capitals. Their defensive stats throughout that series dipped compared to their regular season. In seven games, the Hurricanes penalty kill only had a 75 percent success rate. They allowed 20 goals against and averaged allowing 28 shots against per game.
New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner was a star all year for the team, and that didn’t change through round one – playing his part in the sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lehner finished the regular season with a record of 25-13-5, a goals against average of 2.13, and a save percentage of .930. He also registered six shutouts.
Throughout the first round of the playoffs, Lehner went 4-0 with a goals against average of 1.47 and a save percentage of .956. He had two penalty minutes and needed to play only 245 minutes in round one.
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek finished his regular season with a record of 23-14-3. His final goals against average was 2.39 and his save percentage was .914. He made 40 starts and had four shutouts.
The first round of the playoffs saw Mrazek play 450 minutes – the most of any goaltender in the first round. He finished the first-round series against the Caps with a 2.54 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. He also shutout Washington once in the series.
The Islanders top offensive star through the first round just makes it into the top-20 in the playoff scoring race – but that’s also because they only played four first-round games. Forward Jordan Eberle finished the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins with four goals and two assists. Eberle had a 1.5 goals per game average and one powerplay point. He had 15 shots and an even 50 percent success rate in the faceoff circle.
For the Carolina Hurricanes, it was defenseman Jaccob Slavin who stepped on offensively. Slavin had nine assists in seven games against the Washington Capitals – two of them on the powerplay. Slavin finished the first-round series as a plus-4, 15 shots, and averaged nearly 27 minutes of ice time per game.
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