Islanders, Hurricanes enter matchup with momentum
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two teams feeling good after their most recent results meet Sunday when the New York Islanders face the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
The teams put together different types of inspirational victories in advance of this game, but the confidence might be brewing for both clubs.
For the Islanders, it was Saturday afternoon's 6-1 whipping of the Philadelphia Flyers for a strong start on a three-game road swing.
"They are games that mean a lot," said Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier, who notched his first goal of the season Saturday. "All of us want to get rolling."
The Hurricanes rallied from two-goal deficits twice in Friday night's 4-3 shootout victory over visiting San Jose. That was Carolina's first shootout of the season.
"I think it's a big step for us," said Hurricanes left winger Brock McGinn, who scored in regulation and in the shootout. "I think we need to keep this confidence going."
The Hurricanes might be further establishing an identity as they continue a good start to the season with a 6-3-1 record.
"The way we won was important," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said of the most recent game. "We're not going to quit, I know that about this group."
The Hurricanes became the first team this season to outshoot the Sharks in San Jose's 10 games. Carolina held a 41-23 edge in shots, though it was fast paced for both sides at times.
"That's the way hockey should be played," Brind'Amour said. "I know there were lots of mistakes. But I was on the edge of my seat, and I have a pretty good one."
The Islanders are still piecing together things under first-year coach Barry Trotz. On Sunday, they try to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
"We've done a lot of good things, haven't always got the results we want," Trotz said.
Because of the Islanders' wavering outcomes, there have been times when it's hard to figure out the pulse of the team. For Trotz, he knows it will take time.
"Part of the process is to understand, a lot of times with young players and even old players ... to be a top player, you have to play (through it)," he said of certain struggles. "They can't get frustrated. Make sure they play with a team concept and not try to do too much. ... (They're) getting used to us. We're kind of retraining them a little bit."
Trotz said seeing how the Islanders develop during this road strip is crucial because there could be changes made with line combinations based on what the opponent is doing.
"We're trying to get some balance throughout the lineup," Trotz said. "We need to be a little more consistent throughout our lineup. Stay out to the box, play our game and believe in what we're doing."
Carolina center Sebastian Aho takes a 10-game points streak into Sunday's game. He has an assist in every game this season, one game shy of matching Eric Staal for the franchise record of 11 consecutive games with an assist.
Brind'Amour didn't commit Saturday to using goalie Scott Darling for his season debut against the Islanders. He was activated for the last game but didn't play. He's coming off a groin injury suffered in the preseason finale.
The teams opened the season against each other Oct. 4 in Raleigh, with the Islanders winning in overtime.
Updated October 27, 2018