The New York Islanders visit the Carolina Hurricanes having missed a chance to jump up out of wild card territory the night before, and now need a win in Raleigh just to keep pace with the third-place Penguins, who won big in Detroit this afternoon.
The Hurricanes are all but out of the playoff picture, but they've attained points in eight of their last 10 (4-2-4) and just got key top Justin Faulk back in the lineup after he missed nearly a quarter of the season.
After falling behind 3-1 last night, the Islanders were in position to get points while entering the third period last night in a 3-3 tie in Tampa, but the Lightning sped away in a wild third period to win 7-4. That extended their road winless streak to six games.
With a busy schedule and a traveling back-to-back, this is an opportunity to make lineup changes. But following the game they'll have two days between games for the final time this season. So spin the lineup blender and you get...
Brian Strait is back in for Ryan Pulock. As expected, Jean-Francois Berube starts in goal.
Islanders (39-25-9, 4th/Metro) @ Hurricanes (32-28-14, 7th/Metro)
7 p.m. EDT | MSG+
In my mind I'm going to: Canes Country
So the Islanders are in the top wild card spot with 87 points, and will stay there through tonight even if the Flyers (85 points) win in Arizona. After the Pens' win today, Pittsburgh has 90 points. The Rangers, with 92 points, play tonight in Montreal.
Eddie Lack will start for the Hurricanes, and rookie Patrick Brown will be in and hope to see his first NHL victory: He was in the lineup for the Hurricanes' nightmare seven-game winless start last season.
Late post on the second half of a back-to-back, so call this your game thread.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks over here by 7 p.m. EDT.