Coming off a big win at home last night over the Edmonton Oilers, the Hurricanes took to the road to take on the New York Islanders in the second meeting between the two teams this season, and earned their third straight win, 5-4 in overtime behind two goals from Ron Hainsey.
The two teams came in tied in the Eastern Conference standings in points, with the Islanders having a game in hand. Needless to say, this game was of the utmost importance for the Hurricanes in their quest to make their long-awaited return to the postseason.
Right out of the gate, the Hurricanes’ play was reflective of that importance, but good scoring chances from Victor Rask and Elias Lindholm were each turned away by Islanders netminder Jean-Francois Berube.
But then it was the Islanders who broke in with a chance, but Cam Ward was able to turn away Nick Leddy’s bid.
Shortly thereafter, Brett Pesce would take a penalty for holding, which put Carolina’s league-best penalty killing unit to the test.
The ‘Canes were able to kill it off without a significant scoring chance occurring against them.
The Islanders were able to use that power play to generate some momentum, as they created several high-quality scoring chances over the course of the next few minutes.
Cam Ward’s quality saves throughout that sequence paid off, because as soon as the puck went the other way, it was Jaccob Slavin sending a blast past Berube to give the Hurricanes a lead. The assists on the goal went to Pesce and Lindholm.
It was a short-lived lead, though, as Anders Lee deflected a Dennis Seidenberg shot past Ward to tie the game.
The Islanders then took a penalty with 3:09 to go in the period as Alan Quine got the gate for slashing.
After how impressive the Carolina power play looked last night against Edmonton, they were probably looking for more out of their first attempt in tonight’s game. The Islanders killed it off, though Justin Faulk did find the post with a shot.
Despite the tied score after the first, it was certainly the Islanders who had the better of the play. They led the game in terms of shots on goal by a considerable 14-10 margin, and looked to have a lot of jump for a team coming off a heartbreaking loss the previous night.
That jump continued in the second, as the Islanders took just two minutes and 36 seconds to strike again to give themselves a 2-1 lead.
Once again though, the lead didn’t last for long. Lindholm found a wide-open Ron Hainsey in the slot, and Hainsey made no mistake as he beat Berube to tie the game. Jordan Staal picked up an assist on that goal as well.
Carolina would strike again very quickly, as Lee Stempniak and Jeff Skinner came in on a 2-on-1, and Stempniak blasted an absolute laser of a wrist shot to the top corner of Berube’s glove side, and just like that, the ‘Canes held a 3-2 lead.
The Hurricanes would have a chance to extend their lead with a power play right after the goals. New York’s penalty kill won out again though, and the lead remained at one.
Some more of the period went on rather plainly, until Staal’s line and Slavin and Pesce’s pairing got stuck for a very extended shift in their own zone. Aho and Lindholm were able to get off the ice for Nordstrom and Stalberg on a partial clear, but the other three remained.
Play went on without a change, and eventually the ‘Canes iced the puck with those same five on the ice. Aiming to protect their fragile one-goal lead, Bill Peters made the decision to utilize his timeout.
Pesce made a play on Tavares that finally moved possession and the other direction, and Slavin and Pesce were able to change after an entirely too long stretch of time on the ice.
Things didn’t improve much, though. Carolina kept getting hemmed in as the Islanders appeared desperate to tie this one before the second intermission.
The ‘Canes weren’t able to make it to the break, as one defensive lapse after another ultimately cost them when Brock Nelson walked down the right wing and snapped a shot that beat Ward stick side.
Despite that, the Hurricanes found a way to take a lead into the break anyway, as Teuvo Teravainen found a loose puck and deposited it into the net to give the ‘Canes a 4-3 lead with just over a second left.
The third period started with a bit of a scare, as Ward appeared to be shaken up after miking his first stop of the frame. Trainer Pete Friesen came out to take a look at him, but the pair decided to leave Ward in the game.
After a whole lot of not much going on, Jordan Staal got the gate for high-sticking. Right off the face-off, the Islanders were able to find the equalizer as Josh Bailey let one go from the point that beat Ward high on the glove side.
Right after that, Jason Chimera, playing in his 1,001st game, sprung in on a breakaway, but Ward came up with a big save to keep the game tied.
The Islanders would get another crack at things with a man advantage as Pesce took another penalty. This time, though, the penalty kill did its job and killed off the infraction to keep the game level.
Carolina would have a golden opportunity to re-claim the lead when Shane Prince got the gate for high-sticking with 5:40 to go in the third.
The Hurricanes would never find a good chance to do that, though, and the Islanders’ kill was successful once again.
It was then New York’s turn with the power play as Sebastian Aho went off for delay of game with 47.3 seconds remaining in the third.
With the game on the line, the Carolina penalty kill was able to hold its own and get the game to overtime, where they would face another minute and 13 seconds of shorthanded time if they wanted to give their team a chance.
With the shots sitting at 36-23 in favor of New York following regulation, Carolina had already claimed a point that they probably didn’t deserve.
The Islanders power play wouldn’t be able to find the game winner, and the game went to 4-on-4 as Aho was freed from the box.
After a whistle caused by a Teravainen shot that Berube turned away and sent out of play, the overtime went to its conventional 3-on-3 form.
Shortly thereafter, it was Hainsey who found his second goal of the game on a blast from the point to give the Hurricanes a huge two points.
Rank the Performances
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