The Carolina Hurricanes ought to look fully recognizable to their fans when the team is seen again on home ice.
Carolina is off to another strong start despite a lengthy road trip.
The New York Islanders will try to disrupt that early trend when the teams meet for the first time this season Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.
It has been more than two weeks since the Hurricanes played a home game, which came in their season opener. They went 3-1-1 on the road trip.
“I think we really could have got more results than we did,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
But what the Hurricanes accomplished was the early steps of establishing a good foundation. Plus, they got one of the season’s grueling treks out of the way.
“It was a long one, a little too long,” Brind’Amour said of the duration of the road swing. “It’s part of (what) everyone has to do.”
The Islanders are bound to be feeling good after snapping a three-game skid with Wednesday night’s 3-0 home victory against the New York Rangers.
With the Hurricanes’ ability to put up high shot totals, goalie Ilya Sorokin might have had a good tune-up after seeing 41 shots from the Rangers. That gave him his fourth-highest save total in his career.
“Every win is a good win,” Sorokin said. “It doesn’t matter who it is against.”
Part of that has come from the Islanders’ franchise-record 25 consecutive successful penalty kills to begin the season.
While much of the attention was on defense, Kyle Palmieri’s two goals and Josh Bailey’s one goal marked their first tallies of the season.
Much of that added up areas to try to replicate, particularly with what Islanders coach Lane Lambert described as strong play in the defensive end.
“Our desperation level, to me, you just build on that,” Lambert said.
Still, Lambert has tinkered with the lineup and some of the roles on special teams.
“We did a little bit more of the things we talked about which leads to connecting,” Lambert said.
Bailey, a 33-year-old right winger, will appear in his 1,000th NHL game Friday night.
“It’s incredible actually that he’s approaching that,” Lambert said. “Obviously, he means so much to the organization for so many years. He’s a cerebral player. He’s a smart player. You can count on him.”
After not playing since Monday night in Vancouver, the Hurricanes are preparing for three games in four nights. That means that goalies Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta both should get work across the next few games.
Newcomers have fit in well with the Hurricanes, with some roles potentially expanding if needed from younger players. Veterans Brent Burns and Paul Stastny have proven to be solid additions.
Yet Brind’Amour doesn’t want to read too far into how some roles might evolve.
“It’s six games,” he said. “It’s a small, small size.”
Both teams have a player named Sebastian Aho — an Islanders defenseman and Hurricanes center.
Hurricanes right winger Ondrej Kase remains in concussion protocol.
–Field Level Media