The Carolina Hurricanes had another tough night on the penalty kill but carried the play at even strength, especially in the third period, and went on to defeat the New York Islanders, 6-4 at Nassau Coliseum on Monday night.
The Canes first line of Jiri Tlusty, Alexander Semin, and Eric Staal did major damage for the visitors and combined for nine points in the third period alone.
The win gives the Hurricanes a 6-4-1 overall record and makes them 3-1-1 on this six game road trip which will end up tomorrow night in New Jersey. The team is also currently in first place in the Southeast Division and is 6-2-1 in their last nine contests.
Carolina fell behind early as the Islanders scored a powerplay goal just 2:48 into the game. But the Canes came back later in the period when a Jamie McBain shot bounced in the net off Tim Wallace's skate while he was creating havoc in front of the net. It was Wallace's first goal of the season and his first as a Hurricane.
The goals came in rapid succession in the second period as the Islanders would score another powerplay goal 5:23 into the period, but Jeff Skinner answered 29 seconds later. Then Tim Gleason was called for tripping and the Islanders scored yet another powerplay goal to recapture the lead, making the Carolina penalty killers look futile in the process.
But it didn't take long for the Hurricanes to tie things up in the third.
Just thirty seconds into the period, Semin would send a perfect pass to Tlusty in front of the net to make it 3-3. About five minutes later, "Sasha" sent a shot toward the net which somehow found it's way past Rick DiPietro to give the Hurricanes the lead. It was the Russian's 200th career NHL goal.
Later in the period, Eric Staal would win another faceoff which would lead directly to a goal.
The faceoff win went to Jay Harrison who rifled a shot at the net. Tlusty would get a stick on it but the puck hit Staal on it's way into the net to give the Carolina Captain his 8th of the season.
Staal also pushed his point streak to nine straight games.
The home team would make things interesting as they scored yet another powerplay goal midway through the third, but the Canes would eventually kill a penalty later in the period and Tlusty closed out the scoring on a long shot at an empty net with just 11 seconds left.
The Carolina penalty killers ended up allowing four goals on five attempts and looked bad doing it. The powerplay went 0-3, but did generate a few chances.
Will Cam Ward face his idol Martin Brodeur tomorrow night or will Dan Ellis get the nod? Ward made 24 saves on 28 shots in this one. The goalie is now 15-3-3 lifetime against the Islanders.
- Coach Muller did a good job of splitting up ice time tonight as no one got less than 10 minutes. Joni Pitkanen took honors with 22:46 of ice time.
- The Canes outshot the Islanders 31-28 and were led by Eric Staal with six. Skinner had five.
- Semin, (1G 2A), E. Staal, (1G 1A),and Tlusty, (2G 2A), each finished with a (+4) for the night.
- Jamie McBain was credited with a team high six blocked shots. Next up was Harrison with four. The team had a total of 21 blocks.