The New York Islanders were the last 2019 NHL playoff team to learn their second-round opponent, but now that the Carolina Hurricanes have eliminated the defending champions in dramatic, Game 7 double-overtime fashion, the schedule is set.
While the Islanders will be worried about rust after a lengthy break after their sweep of the Penguins, the Hurricanes will be worried about recovering after an exhausting series.
In the end, you’d think the rest would serve to the Islanders’ advantage, but there’s a reason they actually play the games.
The Hurricanes will be happy to get a split of the first two games, after which they’ll have an extra day of much-needed rest before the series switches to Raleigh, North Carolina. Meanwhile, if you’re the anxious-yet-optimistic sort, you can worry that a potential Game 6 and 7 would be on back-to-back nights with travel in between.
The Islanders were 3-1 against the Hurricanes this season (meanwhile, Carolina was 1-2-1 thanks to #NHLscoring), though those three wins largely came on the back of standout performances by Thomas Greiss — who will be the backup this series — and none of those wins came after Thanksgiving. Indeed, none of the team’s 2018-19 meetings came after Jan. 8.
So, don’t throw the regular season completely out. But consider it with much caution.
Here’s when the two teams will face off as many as seven times over the next two weeks. As the Metro’s second-place team, the Islanders will have home-ice advantage — though at Barclays Center, not Nassau Coliseum:
- Game 1: Friday, April 26, 7 p.m., Barclays Center
- Game 2: Sunday, April 28, 3 p.m., Barclays Center
- Game 3: Wednesday, May 1, 7 p.m., Raleigh
- Game 4: Friday, May 3, 7 p.m. Raleigh
- Game 5: Sunday, May 5, TBD, Barclays Center
- Game 6: Tuesday, May 7, TBD, Raleigh
- Game 7: Wednesday, May 8, TBD, Barclays Center
Here we go!