Michael Dal Colle’s sum total of postseason experience since the Islanders drafted him fifth overall in 2014 was three games with Bridgeport in the AHL playoffs in 2016 shortly after concluding his junior hockey career.
But Dal Colle is in line to make his NHL playoff debut in Game 3 against the Hurricanes on Wednesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina, if injured right wing Cal Clutterbuck is unable to play.
“You’ve got to be dialed in,” said Dal Colle, who has never been in PNC Arena. “Our team is in a hole right now so you’ve just got to take it one game at a time. I’m not thinking about anything other than that. There will be some nerves and some excitement as well. But you have to balance it out. At the end of the day, we’ve got to snag Game 3.”
Dal Colle, who skated on Brock Nelson’s right wing along with Josh Bailey at Tuesday’s practice in East Meadow, had three goals and four assists in 28 NHL games this season.
He had one assist in his three playoff games for Bridgeport.
Asked if there was anything that would be relatable to the NHL playoffs from that limited AHL postseason experience, Dal Colle said, “I don’t think so.”
Used to it
The Hurricanes have drawn raucous sellout crowds to their first three home playoff games and several Islanders said they were looking forward to playing in that atmosphere.
“I heard it’s pretty nuts,” defenseman Scott Mayfield said. “I watched the first round and it reminded me a little of the Coliseum. The rink is set up that way with tailgating before so I’m sure it’ll be pretty loud in there. It’ll be fun.”
Added center Casey Cizikas, “As an athlete playing in front of thousands of people, it gets your blood going. It doesn’t matter if they’re cheering for you or cheering for the other team.”
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said No. 1 goalie Petr Mrazek, who exited Sunday’s Game 2 in the second period with a lower-body injury, would not play in Game 3. However, Brind’Amour did not rule Mrazek out for Friday night’s Game 4.
Forward Micheal Ferland (upper body) also will not be available for Game 3 but remains a possibility for Game 4. Forward Jordan Martinook (lower body) could return to the lineup in Game 3 after missing the first two games.
Rookie forward Andrei Svechnikov skated on the fourth line during the Hurricanes’ practice in Raleigh on Tuesday. He has not played since being knocked out in a fight with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin in Game 3 of the first round.
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