RALEIGH, N.C. — Calvin de Haan believes the Hurricanes got a boost in their second-round series against his former team, the Islanders, by not having to play at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
The Hurricanes hold a 3-0 series lead and can eliminate the Islanders in Game 4 on Friday night at PNC Arena. The Islanders lost the first two games at Barclays Center, 1-0 in overtime and 2-1, after playing their two home games in their first-round sweep of the Penguins at the Coliseum.
The NHL, under commissioner Gary Bettman, announced in February that the Islanders would play the first round at the Coliseum and all subsequent rounds in Brooklyn after they split their regular-season home games between the two buildings.
“It’s great for us,” de Haan said on Thursday after practice. “It’s good for the away team. It kind of negates the home-ice advantage to a certain extent. I’ve played there [the Coliseum] and it’s loud and you do feed off of that. Whether you think of it or not, you do feed off the momentum of the crowd and it seemed to elevate everybody on the bench. But it is what it is. That’s Mr. Bettman’s decision, so, whatever.”
De Haan, who signed a four-year, $18.2 million deal with the Hurricanes as an unrestricted free agent after five seasons with the Islanders, believes the atmosphere at PNC Arena has been akin to the Coliseum.
“Yeah, 100 percent,” he said. “The support here has been great all season. Everybody is really rallying behind us right now. It’s really fun. Sometimes it feels like when you leave a concert and you’re a little deaf after. You can’t hear stuff on the ice sometimes when the crowd is really going. The lower bowl is massive and it feels like everyone is on top of you. It’s a fun building when it’s rocking. We definitely have home-ice advantage here when the crowd is going.”
Forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Tom Kuhnhackl and defensemen Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech did not participate in the Islanders’ practice Thursday at PNC Arena.
“All maintenance,” coach Barry Trotz said, indicating the quartet should be available for Game 4.
This and that
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said No. 1 goalie Petr Mrazek will not return in Game 4 despite skating on Thursday. He left Game 2 in the second period with a lower-body injury. Curtis McElhinney is expected to start again after making 28 saves in the Game 3 win . . . The Isles are in danger of becoming the first team since the Sabres in 1993 of sweeping a best-of-seven series but then being swept in the next round.