In a game of playoff atmosphere and with big playoff implications, the Carolina Hurricanes came up short getting shutout by the New York Islanders 3-0 at PNC Arena, the second night in a row the suddenly defensively-stingy Islanders didn’t allow a goal.
The Hurricanes dominated the first period. In the first five minutes, it was typical of both teams feeling each other out. At 4:20 of the first, Justin Faulk headed to the penalty box for delay of game as did Tanner Fritz for boarding on Faulk for 4-on-4. The open ice helped the Hurricanes generate chances both ways as Brett Pesce rung a shot off the post and then the Islanders were off to the races following the shot but couldn’t finish.
Carolina was unable to convert on their first power play opportunity as Mathew Barzal took a seat to serve a too many men on the ice penalty. Despite no luck with the man advantage, the Hurricanes created good shot opportunities.
Cam Ward was solid in net, as he has been all season, and stopped a partial breakaway on Nick Leddy midway through the period. The Hurricanes were physical throughout the first period and seemed they were hungry after a big loss to the New Jersey Devils last night.
Thomas Greiss made some exceptional saves toward the end of the period on Lee Stempniak and Joakim Nordstrom. Greiss was keeping the Islanders in the game as the Hurricanes outshot the Islanders 16-7.
Ward held strong in the second period, denying a huge tip in front of the net by Andrew Ladd on a two-on-none, but would soon be caught off guard by an end-over-end slap shot from the point by Nick Leddy at the point to put the Islanders up 1-0.
In the third period, Jeff Skinner found the back of the net for his 200th career goal, only to have the call challenged and overturned by offsides. That call changed the game and momentum for the Hurricanes as it began to go all downhill from there. They cycled the puck well but weren’t able to get anything through Greiss.
The Hurricanes continued to try and get another opportunity on the power play in the third period but Greiss stayed strong and the Hurricanes didn’t provide enough of a net front presence to give him a challenge. Finally, Anthony Beauvillier converted on a breakaway thanks to a mishandled pass by Justin Faulk at 12:00 of the third to essentially seal the game.
There wasn’t much fight out of the Hurricanes after that blow. The Canes dominated the shots and possession but weren’t able to get anything past Greiss, and John Tavares sealed the win when he was awarded an empty-net goal after being hooked on a breakaway with Ward on the bench. They lacked a much needed net front presence, and it cost them a spot in the wild card position, with the Islanders leapfrogging them on the strength of stopping all 95 shots they faced over the past two games.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.