Hurricanes score 3 in 2nd, top Islanders 3-2

  • Article by: IRA PODELL
  • Associated Press
  • January 4, 2014 - 9:25 PM

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Jordan Staal and Brett Sutter scored 57 seconds apart in the second period, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders yet again, 3-2 on Saturday night for their third consecutive win.

Staal broke a tie with his ninth goal with 6:48 left in the second. Sutter stretched the Carolina lead to 3-1 with 5:51 to go with the second of his NHL career and first since his debut on Dec. 23, 2008 — a span of 50 games.

Manny Malhotra staked the Hurricanes to a 1-0 lead when he scored for a third straight game, connecting at 6:57 of the second with his fourth goal.

John Tavares answered 44 seconds later with his 17th for the Islanders, and Thomas Vanek scored with 24.2 seconds remaining, but New York had a season-best, three-game winning streak broken.

It was fitting this loss came against the Hurricanes, who improved to 23-5-5 in the last 33 meetings with the Islanders and 16-2-4 in the past 22. Carolina is certainly not intimidated by Nassau Coliseum as the Hurricanes are 11-1-2 there in their past 14 visits.

Anton Khudobin was the beneficiary this time and improved to 4-0, including wins in back-to-back games. Khudobin, who made 38 saves, missed 32 games this season due to injury. Carolina captain Eric Staal left with a lower-body injury after the second period and didn't return.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 27 shots for New York.

Carolina took its first lead when Andrew MacDonald had the puck taken away behind his net by Patrick Dwyer, who made a quick pass out front to Malhotra for the goal that left Nabokov shaking his head.

The edge later grew to 3-1 after another turnover by New York, this time in the neutral zone. The Hurricanes quickly transitioned to offense, and Jeff Skinner fired a shot that was stopped by Nabokov, but Sutter put in the rebound.

Tavares finished a give-and-go with Vanek following a Carolina turnover to briefly get the Islanders even at 1.

New York had chances in the first as prized rookie Ryan Strome was denied on a good save by Khudobin during a power play. He threw his head back in frustration as he is still searching for his first NHL goal after 10 games.

Kyle Okposo, who scored the overtime winner on Thursday against Chicago, deftly darted and weaved through the Carolina zone with 2:41 left in the first. He got Khudobin down on his side, but fired a drive into the prone goalie's glove.

Tavares had a partial breakaway stopped about 6 minutes in.

NOTES: Okposo had a career-high, eight-game point streak snapped. Vanek now has an eight-game point streak. ... Hurricanes G Cam Ward and forward Riley Nash both missed their second straight game with injuries. ... Jordan Staal is one point shy of 300 in the NHL. ... The Hurricanes have outscored opponents 50-38 in the second period but have been outscored in the first and third. ... Dwyer had two assists. ... Skinner has 10 points in six games.

© 2018 Star Tribune