The Carolina Hurricanes allowed the tying goal with 90 seconds left then lost in the shootout to the New York Islanders, 4-3, in a battle of the Eastern Conference's bottom two teams. Anthony Stewart, Brandon Sutter and Chad LaRose scored for the Hurricanes, who now stand at 13-21-7 with 33 points — one behind the Islanders — at the season’s midway point.
1. Carolina's shootout choices continue to baffle. Jussi Jokinen, one of the best in the league since the inception of the end-of-game skills competition tiebreaker, was an obvious choice, and he converted on the Peter Forsberg-esque postage stamp move that made Jokinen famous back in 2005-06. But using Eric Staal (now 2 for 15, 13.3 percent, on his career) and Chad LaRose (now 1 of 3 in his career) didn't pan out. Using Staal, despite his lack of success, makes sense because he's the team's best player — the exact argument coach Kirk Muller made in defending his choice to use Carolina's captain in the shootout. But going to LaRose over Sutter or Tuomo Ruutu doesn't make sense.
2. Drayson Bowman's play in all three zones stood out Tuesday, and his assist on Sutter's goal — a play created by Bowman's forechecking of Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov — gave him three straight games with a helper since he joined Sutter on Carolina's third line. In a season of downs, the growth of young players like Bowman — along with Justin Faulk, Zac Dalpe and others — is a silver lining.
3. LaRose's 10th goal — a beauty that was accomplished with all-out effort — puts him on pace for 20 this season, which would best the 19 he registered in 2008-09. Yes, LaRose is minus-17 after finishing minus-21 last season, but he is living up to the contract Jim Rutherford gave him in the offseason by combining agitation with production.
Number To Know
12 — Numbers of shots this season for Andreas Nodl in 27 games. Since joining the Hurricanes, Nodl has just six shots in 15 games and was one of just Carolina two players, along with Tim Brent, to not record a shot in Tuesday's game. The Canes finished with 40 shots on goal for the game.
Cam Ward — His shootout performance was nothing to call home about, but Carolina's goalie was good the rest of the night in between the pipes. The blame on all three Islanders goals lay elsewhere: two were on the power play, and the third is mentioned in "Minus" below. Ward is now 5-3-3 in his last 11 games.
Kyle Okposo's game-tying goal with 1:30 left in the game, Faulk lost track of the Isles forward and, when John Tavares pass whizzed past the goal, was caught with his stick off the ice. The result was a pass right on Okposo's stick that knotted the score and sent the game to overtime.— The Carolina rookie defender finished plus-2 on the night and was on the ice for all three of the team's goals, but it was the goal against that he was involved with that stands out. On