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New York Islanders vs. Carolina Hurricanes: Faulk questionable for Metro storm

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Let's really try to play 60 minutes in this one, guys.

Hey no fair, man.
Hey no fair, man.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders will try to extend their three-game win streak in Raleigh, where the Hurricanes played extra time last night in a shootout loss to the Penguins.

The big news, or big impact at least, for the Hurricanes is a day-to-day injury to Justin Faulk. The outstanding defenseman and team leading scorer was hurt in practice this week and missed last night's game. But coach Bill Peters thought he was close yesterday, so he might be in tonight. With no morning skate, it's a gametime decision.

In these teams' only previous meeting this season, the Isles lost an overtime game in Brooklyn. That one hurt: The Isles held the lead against a team finishing a long road trip, yet they sleepwalked through the third period and it cost them. That one was Thomas Greiss against Eddie Lack; tonight's starters are yet to be announced. Cam Ward played -- and played well -- last night against the Pens; Greiss was in net for the Islanders' win Thursday over the Kings.

To the surprise of many, the Hurricanes are still very much in the playoff hunt, six points behind the Isles and part of the Metro's crowd of bubble-dwellers. So tonight represents the second half of back-to-back "four point" (but sometimes six!) games for Carolina. For the Isles, it's part of a run of four out of six games against Metro opponents.

Islanders (29-18-6, 3rd/Metro) @ Hurricanes (24-21-10, 6th/Metro)
7 p.m. EST | MSG+,
audio, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM
Raleigh's [
banking alphabet soup] Center
Eyes on the storm: Canes Country

The Islanders also didn't have a morning skate today, as according to Newsday's Marc Herrmann (handling coverage tonight) the arena was booked for N.C. State hoops. That may be just as well, if a team in the midst of playing every other night for the next two months could use a rest from the NHL's increasingly unnecessary gameday morning routine. That means, per NHL.com's Brian Compton, the coach's update on lineups and any injuries won't come till just before 5 p.m.

Could it be fatigue?

If you missed it, Jack Capuano had his swagger on after the 5-2 win over the Kings, playing the routine of coach disappointed in his team's -- or "certain guys" -- effort in a convincing win. He played the part convincingly, as the reporters in the room sounded taken by surprise.

While we can all chuckle at Capuano taking this tough-guy approach -- and truly, it's always helpful to at least spot your weaknesses and acknowledge your good bounces after a win -- raising the expectations and standards for the squad is a must if they are to go farther than they went last season.

So: starting goalie, and any punitive scratches, to be declared later. Capuano tends not to make changes after a win, but certain guys haven't played in a few games (Marek Zidlicky) or a few years (Steve Bernier), so we'll see.

In any case, over these busy final months of the season this is a theme we'll hear come up now and then. And you know they will look for opportunities to mix other players in to "keep guys fresh," etc. But not you, John Tavares. Players of your ilk get no rest.

Cup Memories

The Hurricanes will commemorate their Stanley Cup win of 10 (!) years ago before tonight's game. Islanders assistant coach Doug Weight was a pre-trade-deadline acquisition and key member of that team until being knocked out late in the series. He grimaced and grinned -- grinnaced? -- as he lifted the Stanley Cup with one good shoulder, because it's the Stanley freaking Cup.

FIG Picks

Leave your FIG picks for tonight here. You can wait until after lineups are announced to post your pick, but post them before 7 p.m. EST.