Kevin Poulin earned a rare start in net for the Islanders, and finished with 33 saves on 36 shots and garnered the win. The 21-year old improves to 2-2-0 on the year, and helped New York climb within seven points of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders surrendered leads in each of the opening two periods before going up for good on Tavares' second goal of the game just 38 seconds into the third period. P.A. Parenteau assisted on each of Tavares' tallies, and added a third helper on Frans Nielsen's second period score. The three assists push his season total to 42, good for fifth in the NHL.
Brandon Sutter, Jiri Tlutsy, and Jaroslav Spacek all scored for the Hurricanes, who pulled goalie Cam Ward in favor of Justin Peters after the second period because of a lower body injury.
The Islanders will next play on Monday night when they host the Ottawa Senators.