UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders faced each other for the second time in 24 hours on Saturday.
As the puck dropped at Nassau Coliseum, the ending was a similar one and the Hurricanes suffered their second straight defeat, this time losing 4-3 to the Islanders.
The bright spots on the night for the visitors were forward Jiri Tlusty posting his second career hat trick, scoring all of Carolina’s goals including two on the power play, and captain Eric Staal assisting on one of them to earn his 400th career assist.
On the other hand, the dark spots included missed defensive assignments and taking undisciplined penalties.
Getting his first start of the season as part of Carolina head coach Bill Peters’ plan to get both goalies playing early in the season, netminder Anton Khudobin made 27 saves, but couldn’t come up any better than Cam Ward did the night before in a 5-3 loss to the Islanders at home.
Before the game, despite losing in his head coaching debut, Peters felt the quick turnaround against the same opponent on the road would be helpful.
“It’s really a good opportunity when you think about it,” Peters said.
“Playin’ the same team, you get a chance to exact a little revenge. Now you’ve seen ‘em play, now you know what to expect.”
Trying to build on a three-goal third period finish at PNC Arena, Tlusty helped Carolina keep pace with Isles captain John Tavares (1g, 1a) and his teammates as both teams were tied 2-2 following the opening period.
However, a penalty-filled second didn’t work to the Hurricanes’ favor as New York scored a power play goal to take the lead at 6:47, and added a period-ending marker that became the eventual game-winner.
“A goal with three seconds left in the second is not the way you want to finish the period,” Peters said.
“We have to focus, and we have to be smart. We had a great offensive shift, but one little turnover and it’s back in our face.”
While Khudobin faced 31 total shots, the Hurricanes offense was limited, particularly during the second and third periods, being outshot 22-13, and faced another uphill climb heading into the final period trailing 4-2.
Even with Tlusty’s third goal of the game coming with six minutes remaining to play, the Hurricanes were unable to net the equalizer and claimed another loss to begin the new NHL season, now sitting at 0-2.