Hurricanes 4, Islanders 2: Islanders Go Into Break On A Down Note

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Hurricanes 4, Islanders 2

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) – Eric Staal scored two goals, Cam Ward had 23 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes headed into the All Star break with a 4-2 win Wednesday over the New York Islanders.

Zach Boychuk and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won three of their last four. Staal added an assist in the victory.

Michael Grabner and Andrew MacDonald tallied for the Islanders, who will head into the break as losers in five of their last six. Rick DiPietro allowed all four Carolina goals on 31 shots.

Using an Islanders defender as a screen, Boychuk roofed a shot from the slot to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with 5:17 remaining in the first period.

New York tied the game 31 seconds into the second period when Frans Nielsen sent a pass from the end board in front to Grabner, who made a quick deke in front of the net to beat Ward with a backhand.

But Staal scored twice in an 88-second span to give Carolina a two-goal lead.

Staal’s poke-check in the New York zone started a rush that he finished by lifting a puck over DiPietro from the left side of the net, where Erik Cole had found him with a pass.

Staal made it 3-1 at 7:23 of the second, getting his stick on Joe Corvo’s slap shot from the point and deflecting it past DiPietro.

That was all the scoring until Sutter iced the victory with 4:55 remaining in the third period, getting behind the defense on a pass from Jiri Tlusty and beating DiPietro on the backhand.

MacDonald scored the Islanders’ second goal on a snap shot with 1:21 remaining in the game.

The Hurricanes will host this weekend’s All Star festivities, but they are off until Tuesday’s game against visiting Boston. New York’s next game is also Tuesday, on the road in Atlanta…Cole had two assists…Carolina went 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Islanders were 0-for-2.


Carolina Hurricanes At New York Islanders: Islanders Face Tough Test Against Carolina

(Sports Network) - Carolina will host this weekend's All-Star festivities, but the Hurricanes will be away from Raleigh tonight as they visit the New York Islanders for a battle at Nassau Coliseum.

Raleigh will host the 2011 All-Star Game on Sunday at the RBC Center, but will play their final game before the break on the road, where Carolina is 11-11-4 this season. The Hurricanes have lost three straight away from the RBC Center and last picked up a road victory on Jan. 7 at Florida.

Carolina will get to remain in Raleigh after the All-Star Game, as the club's next test is Tuesday against visiting Boston.

The Hurricanes, who are ninth in the Eastern Conference and just one point out of a potential playoff spot, have won two of their last three games and are coming off Monday's home win over Toronto.

Brandon Sutter had a pair of goals in the third period while Jeff Skinner scored the game-winner as Carolina took a 6-4 slugging match over the Maple Leafs at RBC Center.

Joe Corvo had a goal and an assist while Cam Ward stopped 26-of-30 shots for the Hurricanes.

"It was a pretty tight game there and we exchanged chances all night," said Sutter. "They have a quick team over there and they caught us standing still, but we managed to battle it out. This was a big win."

Carolina destroyed the Islanders in the only meeting between the clubs this season, posting a 7-2 blowout victory at RBC Center on Nov. 3. It was the third straight win in the series for the Hurricanes, who have also taken seven out of nine from New York. The 'Canes have won five of their last six games on Long Island.

The Islanders were shut out Tuesday evening in Pittsburgh, as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots in a 1-0 victory for the Penguins. With that shutout loss, New York has dropped two straight, four of five and seven of their last nine games.

New York is also just two points ahead of New Jersey for the last place in the Eastern Conference and NHL.

Craig Adams scored the lone goal for the Penguins in Tuesday's win at CONSOL Energy Center. Kevin Poulin was sharp in net for the Islanders as he stopped 30-of-31 shots, but it was not enough to prevent his club from another loss.

"We battled, but there were opportunities to get more pucks to the net," said New York head coach Jack Capuano. "Kevin Poulin played great for us tonight."

Meanwhile, the ongoing saga between New York and Evgeni Nabokov took another turn on Tuesday as the team suspended the goaltender for not reporting to the club.

Nabokov signed a one-year contract with the Red Wings last Friday, but was then claimed off waivers by the Islanders. However, he has so far refused to report for the team.

New York has lost three in a row on Long Island and is just 8-11-4 as the host this season.

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