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Hurricanes 3, Islanders 2

Carolina gets 38 saves by Anton Khudobin and wins third in a row

Anton Khudobin makes one of 38 saves Saturday night
Anton Khudobin makes one of 38 saves Saturday night
Bruce Bennett

The Carolina Hurricanes won their third straight game with the help of some great goaltending by Anton Khudobin as they defeated the New York Islanders, 3-2 on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Khudobin earned his second straight win as he made 38 saves on 40 shots and pushed his season record to 4-0-0.  That makes 76 saves on 81 shots in the past two contests for the Russian.

After a scoreless first period, it was another wild second stanza for Carolina.

Manny Malhotra opened the scoring at 6:57 into the period when he broke alone to the front of the net and beat Evgeni Nabokov after he took a perfect pass from the side boards from Patrick Dwyer.  Malhotra has now scored a goal in the past three straight games.

John Tavares tied the game up after a bad Hurricanes turnover in their own end, but Carolina would score two more times later in the period.

At 13:12 into the period, Dwyer set up another goal when he found Jordan Staal breaking in all alone.  This was the first career two assist game for Dwyer.

Less than a minute later, the Canes struck again when red-hot Jeff Skinner fired a puck on goal.  The rebound popped out and Brett Sutter backhanded in the rebound to make the score 3-1.

The score stayed 3-1 until the end as the Isles took their goalie off the ice for an extra attacker.  Alexander Semin took exception to an obvious slash that was uncalled, but of course the ref objected to being questioned of it and called Semin for unsportsmanlike conduct.

With the two-man advantage, Thomas Vanek would tip a shot past Khudobin to make it a one goal game with just  25 seconds left on the clock. The home team would get close again, but the Carolina goalie made another sprawling save at the buzzer to preserve the win.

The win gives the Hurricanes a 17-16-9 record and moves them to fifth place in the division, as well as one point out of a playoff spot.

The Canes will return home quickly and will next face the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

Game Notes:

  • Eric Staal had to leave the game early with a lower body concern.  His status will be updated later.
  • The Canes were outshot again, 40-30.  They were led by Dwyer who had seven shots.
  • Ryan Murphy had a team high three blocked shots.  Carolina had 19 for the game.
  • Brett Bellemore had a team high four hits.  The team had 22 for the game.
  • Speaking of Bellemore, he was crosschecked to the face with no call, Semin was slashed with no call, and Eric Staal was called for "roughing" after hugging an Islander while trying to help out teammate Ryan Murphy after he was boarded. Interesting stuff.
  • Post game interviews to be found on Canes