We have another surprising twist in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as there is a sweep opportunity in the Eastern Conference in Raleigh this evening. The Carolina Hurricanes, yes, the Carolina Hurricanes are going for the sweep over the New York Islanders following a Game 7 win against the Capitals in the first-round. Huh? This is after the Islanders swept the Penguins and suddenly looked like favourites in the Eastern Conference.
It doesn’t take long for things to change in the NHL and this season is no different. A wildcard winning the Stanley Cup at this point looks realistic. The Kings were able to win as a bottom seed years ago, so why not again, especially in what is a wide open league. Carolina are certainly playing as favourites in the playoffs after just barely reaching the playoffs. If you recall, the Canes were in a heated race with the Canadiens to get in and now they are making the most of it.
The series is not done yet, though. The Islanders recently beat the Penguins in four straight games to get to the second-round, so it wasn’t look ago they won four in a row without issue. Win here and you’re back home with a chance to pull within a game. The Islanders must take it game-by-game and not look at what the series lead is for the Hurricanes. If they do that their confidence is going to be shot and they might as well not bother up showing to play tonight.
The last team to erase a 3-0 lead was the LA Kings in 2014 against the Sharks. They ultimately went on to beat the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. However, that team and the 2010 Flyers are the only teams since 1974 to complete the comeback. The odds are severely stacked against the Isles, but they’ve already defied the odds with their effort this season. As underdogs in Game 4, the odds are stacked against them just to win a game in this series. Head below for our free Islanders vs. Hurricanes Game 4 pick.
N.Y. Islanders vs. Carolina Hurricanes Game 4 Pick
The Islanders and Hurricanes went into the 3rd period of Game 3 with the game knotted up at 2-2 and they exited with the Hurricanes up 3-0 in the series. The Hurricanes just looked like the more energized team in the 3rd period and Robin Lehner wasn’t there to bail his team out. Lehner and the Islanders’ defence had a couple of lapses, but that’s besides the point, they have to find a way to score goals. Lehner already played his best in Game 1 and 2, though the offense didn’t give him an assist. He’s going to need it tonight or the Islanders are going home without a win in the second-round.
Earth to Mat Barzal, Josh Bailey, and company on the Islanders, it’s do-or-die tonight so they may want to consider getting some pucks past Petr Mrazek. The last time the Isles lost four games in a row was in December of 2016, so it’s been a while for them. The Isles didn’t lose three in a row at any point this season until the Hurricanes jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
It was only the second time in their previous seven trips to Raleigh that the Isles lost. With their backs squarely up against the wall, they have one last dying gasp in them to extend this series and get it back to New York. It’s likely a close call again, but I see Barry Trotz and the Islanders having too much pride to go down without a fight. At pretty nice odds of +120 I will take that chance.