Here come the Hurricanes.
On Saturday, Carolina won its fourth consecutive game, defeating the New York Islanders 7-4. The Hurricanes had seven different goal scorers, capping off a four-game sweep on this home stand.
The Sabres and Islanders represent two clubs the surging Hurricanes need to exploit at this point in the season. They managed 12 goals in two games in a back-to-back situation, and this recent run of wins has Carolina knocking on the door of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes sit a single point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second Wild Card spot.
The Hurricanes had a slow start to their season. Playing a bulk of their early games on the road didn’t help. But, one of the top puck possession teams in the league at even strength, they’re making a move in the standings.
Jeff Skinner is having a great season for Carolina. They got contributions from many others Saturday. Brock McGinn had a four-point night and three other players — Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm and Lee Stempniak — had three-point performances.
This point was made earlier this week at PHT, but the Hurricanes have been dominant on home ice, and that continued versus the Islanders.
“I think at home … it seems we’re playing a pretty complete game. We don’t give much up. Tonight, early on, we did and I thought we tightened things up,” said Stempniak. “Our strength lies in our skating and it seems like at home we find our legs and skate offensively.”