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Must Win Islanders vs. Carolina Game 3: Lines, Starting Goalies, & How to Watch



New York Islanders Game 3, Carolina Hurricanes

It’s essentially a must-win game. The New York Islanders got a bad beat and lost Game 2 in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. The Islanders trail division-winning Carolina 2-0 in their Round One series and a loss on home ice Friday at UBS Arena would be a likely insurmountable 3-0 series lead. 

The puck drops just after 7 p.m. at UBS Arena.

Islanders defenseman Alex Romanov rejoined the Islanders at morning skate Friday His status for tonight’s game is yet to be determined. 

“He skated this morning,” said head coach Lane Lambert. “So, we’ll see how he’s feeling and make a decision.” 

Romanov has not played this postseason and has missed the team’s last seven games with an upper-body injury.

“I feel ready to go, but I still don’t know if I will play,” Romanov said. 

Lambert said that Parker Wotherspoon will take his spot in the lineup over Sam Bolduc if Romanov can’t play. 

Bolduc has filled Romanov’s spot in the lineup lately, paired most often alongside Noah Dobson. However, the rookie defenseman has gone through his fair share of growing pains in his young NHL career. In Game 2 on Wednesday,  Bolduc saw just 5:08 of ice time and was benched by Lambert after taking a four-minute double minor for high sticking early in the third period. 

Wotherspoon played 12 games in the regular season and hasn’t seen game action since Jan. 21, albeit against Carolina. 

Projected New York Islanders Lines: 





Defensive pairs still to be determined


Keys To The Game: 

Set The Tone Early: 

In both games in the series thus far, Carolina scored the opening goal within the first ten minutes of the first period. Now back in their own building, the Islanders need to take advantage of the crowd at UBS Arena and find a way to get to their game first. It was Sebastian Aho’s missile of a one-timer that beat Ilya Sorokin just 3:47 into Game 1 that gave the Canes a lead the Islanders couldn’t surmount. And while they eventually took the lead midway through Game 2, it took the Islanders a while to get there after putting themselves in a 2-0 hole. Down two games to none in the series, the Islanders can’t afford another poor start tonight. 

Stay Disciplined: 

We saw our first showing of the kind of animosity that playoff hockey can bring during Game 2. A scrum that broke out at the end of the first period led to Matt Martin being placed in the box, and tensions only increased from there. Up in the series and now on the road, Carolina will play the villain tonight at UBS Arena and try to get in the Islanders’ heads early. It’s important New York doesn’t fall for those head games and keeps the action at five-on-five for as much of the night as possible. 

Continue Strong PK: 

Even if they do fall into some penalty trouble tonight, the Islanders should feel confident in their shorthanded unit. The Islanders penalty kill has seen the ice plenty thus far in the series and was nearly perfect in Game 2. Aside from a fluke goal that Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho accidentally hit into his own net, New York was 5-6 on the kill on Wednesday and allowed only five shots in 9:18 of shorthanded time. 

How to Watch: 

Game 3 will get underway tonight at 7 p.m. The first-ever playoff game at UBS Arena can be seen on MSG Network, streamed on MSG Go and ESPN+ and heard on 88.7 FM WRHU and 1050 AM ESPN.