Eric Staal had two goals and an assist and was named the game's first star as he led the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum. The team remains in ninth place in the Eastern Conference because the Atlanta Thrashers also won, defeating Washington 1-0, but the club still has two games in hand on the Thrashers and only trails them by a point.
Zach Boychuk started the scoring off when he got a quick release snap shot past Rick DiPietro 14:43 into the first period. The Canes controlled much of the period as they outshot the home team 14-6. They had another no-goal call in the opening seconds of the game when it appeared like the whistle was blown, (or was intended to be blown) right before the puck went into the net.
Michael Grabner tied things up just 31 seconds into the second period and that goal appeared to cool off the Hurricanes for a couple of minutes, as they seemed to lose their earlier jump. Apparently sensing this, Troy Bodie dropped the gloves with Zenon Konopka in an attempt to get the troops fired up.
The strategy apparently worked as the Hurricanes scored less than two minutes after the fight when Erik Cole busted up the right side and fed a nice pass to Staal who made a pin point shot to put the visitors back on top, 2-1.
Staal got his second goal of the night a minute and change later when he tipped in a Joe Corvo blast from the point.
The scored stayed at 3-1 until 15:55 into the third period when Jiri Tlusty hit Brandon Sutter with a perfect pass, springing him for a breakaway. Sutter made a nifty move on net and backhanded the puck over DiPietro to make it 4-1.
The Islanders would score a goal to make things interesting before the end, but Cam Ward and the defense shut the door and closed things out the rest of the way.
The team's next game will be against the Boston Bruins next week Tuesday at the RBC as they break for the All Star Weekend.
- The Canes outshot the Islanders 31-25 with Staal putting 10 shots on goal himself.
- It was not necessarily a big hitting game as the Canes were credited with a total of 19. Ryan Carter led the way with four while Ruutu and Cole had three each.
- Corvo kept his scoring streak alive and now has points in five straight games. The defenseman has played a very consistent all around game of late.
- The Hurricanes are now 17-0-0 when leading after two periods. Nothing to complain about with that stat.
- Jamie McBain and Joni Pitkanen each had four blocked shots. The team had a total of 18 for the night.