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New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes

The Islanders returned to action yesterday after a heartbreaker on Long Island against the Rangers, and responded well. The Isles beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 yesterday, with Chad Johnson making 37 saves in net.

If there was ever a time the Islanders needed Johnson to win a game, it was last night. Long Island’s hockey team was expected to come out sluggish after a track meet with the Rangers. The team probably was a little more frustrated than they were letting on, and a win would obviously help get the Isles back on track. Johnson gave the Isles a chance to win with excellent goaltending, and the players in front of him capitalized on that chance, despite being outshot 38-30.

With a flurry of games coming up for the Islanders, Jack Capuano may be looking to his backup more often than he normally has this season. Last night certainly will give Capuano more confidence to go with his number-2 goaltender, which is something he hasn’t had for most of the 2014-15 campaign. As we has seen this season, a coach’s confidence tends to spread across a team, and if Capuano is confident in Chad Jonson, Johnson will start to show confidence in his play.

The Islanders will be tested tomorrow, as the league leading Nashville Predators are coming to town. Former Isles coach Peter Laviolette has really established his team as a force in the NHL, but with the home ice advantage the Islander fans have helped create, tomorrow’s game should be quite the battle.

-Peter (@PJMcEntee)

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