The Carolina Hurricanes topped the New York Islanders 4-3 in a 5 p.m. matchup in Brooklyn on Sunday. Scott Darling turned aside 26 shots and Sebastian Aho committed a penalty on Sebastian Aho. You read that right.
The Islanders almost struck just seconds into the game after a shot from the point from Ryan Pulock careened off the back of the boards and struck Darling’s back. Less than three minutes in, Jaccob Slavin fired a shot from the point that found its way in to put the Hurricanes up 1-0. The Hurricanes kept the momentum going when Lee Stempniak fired a wrist shot between the two circles that beat Jaroslav Halak.
Despite the quick start, the score remained 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. The Hurricanes played well in the neutral and defensive zones, holding the Islanders to just six shots on goal.
Sebastian Aho and Justin Williams got off to a quick start in the second period with an early chance on a give-and-go passing play but Halak stood his ground. Around the 12:37 mark, the Hurricanes had a three-on-one chance but Teuvo Teravainen’s pass to Aho missed the mark, although they did earn a power play. Despite some good puck movement and chances, the Canes did not capitalize.
The Islanders got onto the board after Ryan Pulock fired a shot from the point that was tipped out front by Josh Bailey for his 18th goal of the season. After the goal, the Islanders quickly gained entrance again into the offensive zone and drew a penalty as Derek Ryan was whistled for tripping. On the ensuing power play, Andres Lee tied the game at two apiece after putting home a rebound from a John Tavares shot.
But shortly after, Victor Rask scored his 14th goal of the season after he followed up on a rebound chance to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead. Joakim Nordstrom recorded two assists through two periods of play, one each on the goals by Slavin and Rask, tying his point total over the last 58 games combined.
Early in the third period, the Islanders sprung for a two-on-one opportunity but the “one” in this case was Brett Pesce, who broke up the chance with no harm done. Around the half way point of the final frame, Lee deflected a puck past Darling to tie the game at three apiece.
The teams traded chances but it would be Trevor van Riemsdyk who would break the tie with a bullet from the point with 6:49 left to play. The lead would hold despite a late push from the Islanders.
Truthfully, though, this win means little for the Hurricanes at this point, as they sit far outside the second wild card spot with only ten games to go. If anything, it continues an alarming trend for this team over the past few seasons. Lose enough to get knocked out of contention while still winning just enough to ruin the franchise’s chances at a game breaker in the NHL Draft. Your consolation prizes? Haydn Fleury and Ryan Murphy. Congrats, I guess.
The Hurricanes will turn their attention to the Edmonton Oilers who come to Raleigh on Tuesday night. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Carolinas.
Rank the Performances
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