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Justin Peters Shines In Debut For Carolina: Hurricanes 3, Islanders 1

Goaltender Justin Peters earned his first NHL win in his very first start and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 3-1, on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.  Peters looked solid throughout the contest and kept his nerves under control for the most part as he made saves on breakaways, during a 5-on-3, and under heavy pressure down the stretch.

An emotional rookie said after the game that he had worked very hard to get this opportunity and it was special to him. "The guys put forth a gutsy effort in front of me, and I really appreciate it, " the youngster said. 

In a season of disappointments for Caniacs, moments like these are the ones you can enjoy as a rookie finally realizes one of his lifelong dreams.

The Canes were out-shot in every period once again, but played a pretty evenly keeled game in front of their new goalie.  Jussi Jokinen continued his hot streak of late when he started off the scoring in the first period. 

Joni Pitkaken put a shot on goal and Rick DiPietro misplayed the puck, guiding it right to Jokinen. The Finn said "thank you very much" as he flipped the loose change into the net.

The goal extended Jokinen's consecutive scoring streak to six. 

The Islanders would even things up in the second period on a shorthanded goal by Frans Nielsen.  Peters played the puck to Joni Pitkanen behind the net and the defenseman had trouble controlling it.  The puck squirted out to Nielsen, who made no mistake with his easy chance.

But later in the second period, Brandon Sutter crashed the net and was battling for the puck in DiPietro's crease.  The puck bounced up and Patrick Dwyer knocked it in to give the Canes a 2-1 lead.  Zach Boychuk picked up the second assist giving him two assists in the past two games since his most recent recall.

The third period was scoreless until Joni Pitkanen stole the puck at the blueline and fired it into an open net as DiPietro tried to leave the ice.  There was a minute left in the game, but that sealed the deal for the Canes.

Carolina finally travels home and will battle Florida on Tuesday night at the friendly confines of the RBC.

After a hot streak two weeks ago, the Canes were 0-4 on the powerplay in New York, and have gone 1-19 in the past four games. 

Game Notes:

  • Peters made 34 saves on 35 shots and used his size well as he took up a lot of the net most of the night.  He was patient during a couple of breakaway chances for the New Yorkers and waited out the shooter each time.  He had an excellent debut.
  • Jokinen scored his 20th goal of the season with his tally.  Before this season, we predicted this could be a break out season for him and he has not disappointed.
  • Eric Staal failed to register a point and ended his 11 game scoring streak, but he did finish at +2.  He gets to start over again on Tuesday night.
  • The Sutter - Boychuk - Dwyer line was buzzing and had a very good game.
  • Tim Gleason had a monster game and led both teams with eight blocked shots.  He also chipped in with three hits.  The Canes had a total of 23 blocked shots.
  • Andrew Alberts had a team high six hits.
  • Carolina had a bad night in the faceoff circle winning just 43% of their draws. 
  • While the powerplay is struggling, the penalty kill is performing very well and has allowed just one goal in five games.