Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3 N.Y. Islanders Islanders 5.5 vs.
#4 Carolina Hurricanes -185
Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 5:05pm EST
PNC Arena, Raleigh
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of Metropolitan Division teams take the ice on the final weekend before the All-Star break down in the Tar Heel State. The New York Islanders are on the road as they travel to face the Carolina Hurricanes Sunday afternoon. New York was in action at home on Saturday afternoon as they faced Washington and took a 6-4 defeat. Carolina was defeated 2-1 in overtime at home by Anaheim Friday night in their previous contest. The Hurricanes have claimed the last six meetings between the teams, including a 5-2 home victory in the first matchup on October 11, 2019.

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New York Islanders Playing Second Game of Back to Back

New York was in action against Washington Saturday afternoon in their previous contest so they are playing the second game of a back to back situation. The Islanders enter this one holding the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division, 11 points behind the Capitals. New York is 21st in the league in goals for as they average 2.85 goals per contest this season. The Islanders are tied for 5th in goals against by allowing 2.63 goals per game this year. New York is 21st on the power play as they convert 18.3 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Islanders are tied for 17th in the league in penalty killing as they have successfully handled 79.4 percent of their shorthanded situations this season. New York has scored six shorthanded goals on the year.

Against the Capitals, New York started strongly and utilized that edge to build a lead. Unfortunately, the team melted down in late and ended up taking the loss. In the opening period, the shots were even at 11 and the Islanders skated off with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. New York gave up the opening goal before Brock Nelson tied the game with his 19th goal of the season at 13:11 off assists from Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier. Later in the period, Casey Cizikas gave the Islanders the lead with his 10th of the year at 15:49 off assists from Devon Toews and Beauvillier. The second period saw New York with an 11-8 edge in shots and a 2-0 edge on the scoreboard to open a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. Jordan Eberle made it a 3-1 game with his seventh of the year, on the power play, at 9:31 off assists from Toews and Mathew Barzal. Toews added his fourth of the year at 17:25 off assists from Leo Komarov and Derick Brassard to extend to a 4-1 lead. In the third period, the Islanders were outshot 11-7 and outscored 5-0 to turn a three-goal lead into a two-goal defeat in the span of 20 minutes. Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for the Islanders in the loss as they were outshot 30-29 in the contest.

Carolina Hurricanes Try to Regroup at Home

Carolina suffered their third straight loss as the team has struggled to put the puck in the net in that stretch with a total of three goals on the board. The Hurricanes entered Saturday fourth in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the Islanders for the final guaranteed playoff spots and 12 back of the division-leading Capitals. In the wild card picture, Carolina does hold the top wild card spot entering Saturday’s action. Carolina is 12th in the league in goals for as they average 3.15 goals per game this season. The Hurricanes are tied for 7th in goals against by allowing 2.71 goals per contest. Carolina is 9th with the man advantage by converting 21.6 percent of their power play opportunities on the year. The Hurricanes are 9th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 82.8 percent of their shorthanded situations with nine shorthanded goals on the year.

Against the Ducks, Carolina’s recent struggles lighting the lamp proved costly once again. The Hurricanes owned a 15-12 edge in shots in the opening period and skated off tied at one after 20 minutes of action. Sebastian Aho opened the scoring with his 24th goal of the season at 3:59 off assists from Joel Edmundsson and Teuvo Teravainen. The Hurricanes gave up the equalizer in the final two minutes of the period. Carolina was outshot 13-6 in the second period with neither side lighting the lamp, leaving the game 1-1 after 40 minutes of play. The third period saw the Hurricanes outshot 11-4 in the stanza with neither side lighting the lamp to send the game to overtime tied at one. During the extra session, the shots were even at one but the Hurricanes gave up the winning goal to end up with the OT loss. James Reimer made 35 saves in the loss as Carolina was outshot 37-26 in the game. Petr Mrazek likely gets the start in goal here.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Islanders are playing their second game of a back to back situation here. Both teams log their third game in four nights as the Hurricanes were in action Thursday and Friday while the Islanders took the ice Thursday and Saturday. There’s going to be a lot of heavy legs in this one and it will be interesting to see who has anything left in the tank with the All-Star break looming. The Hurricanes lost Dougie Hamilton to a broken leg and is out indefinitely after having surgery Friday. That’s a big blow to the Carolina blueline. As it stands, the Hurricanes have to find a way to light the lamp as three goals in three games isn’t going to get it done. Carolina takes advantage of a tired Islanders team to earn a tough two points.

Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes -165

Full-Game Total Pick

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New York is 13-8-1 on the road this season as they head into this contest. The Islanders have been outscored by four goals (59-55) and have been outshot by 64 (701-637) in those games on the season. That's an average of 5.18 goals per game when New York is on the road this season. Carolina is 15-8-1 at home after losing in overtime to Anaheim in their last contest. The Hurricanes own a +19 goal differential (81-62) and a +171 shot differential (836-665) this season at the PNC Arena. That's an average of 5.96 goals per game this season on home ice. Look for this one to end up under the total, especially seeing that the Hurricanes have just three goals in their last three games.

Prediction: Under 5.5

Half-Time Side Pick

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New York has struggled to get off the ice with a lead early in their games on the road this season. The Islanders have held the lead after one period on the road in just five of their 22 road games this year. New York has been tied eight times and trailed in nine contests on the year. Carolina has held the upper hand after one period at home eight times in their 24 home games on the year. The Hurricanes have been tied 10 times and they have trailed six times after the first period this season. Give Carolina the upper hand here as they are rested and they play well at home.

Prediction: 1st Period Carolina Hurricanes

Half-Time Total Bet

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New York has struggled early on the road this season and it has cost them some points in the standings. The Islanders own a -7 goal differential (22-15) and have been outshot by 32 (233-201) in the opening period on the road this season. That gives New York an average of 1.68 goals per game in the opening period this season. Carolina holds an even goal differential after the opening period at home this season (25-25) while outshooting the opposition by 30 (269-239) this season in those stanzas. That gives the Hurricanes an average of 2.08 goals per game in the first period. Look for this one to end up under the total after 20 minutes.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.