By Bob Wage
RALEIGH, N.C. – It is usually a high scoring affair when the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders get together, but this game was a bit different.
In a tight contest which had a playoff feel to it, the Islanders shut out the Hurricanes, 3-0 on Friday night in front of 15,448 loud and rowdy fans at the PNC Arena.
It was the second loss in a row for Carolina as they had dropped a 5-2 game in New Jersey the night before.
The loss put the Canes out of a playoff spot for the moment as the Islanders jumped ahead of them in the standings with the big win.
The Islanders, who had previously been allowing among the most goals in the league, got their second straight shutout win.
Jaroslav Halak pitched a 50-save shutout the night before.
Thomas Greiss earned the shutout this night as he stopped all 46 shots he faced.
The Hurricanes thought they had scored early in the third period when Jeff Skinner roofed in a shot from up close but New York coach Doug Weight challenged the play.
After a review, it was determined that Skinner was offside on the entry and the goal was taken off the scoreboard.
The goal would have been Skinner’s 200th of his career but was it was not meant to be on this night.
Coach Bill Peters said after the game that “his guys” knew the play was offside.
“It didn’t surprise me the goal was taken back,” he said.
The goal would have tied the score, but the visitors maintained their 1-0 lead and then extended it later in the period.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders took their one goal lead midway through the second on a long shot from the blueline by Johnny Boychuk.
The score remained 1-0 until with eight minutes to go in the third, Justin Faulk had trouble handling a pass from Noah Hanifin and Anthony Beauvillier stole the puck and took it right to Cam Ward to make it 2-0.
The Canes tried to get another puck past Greiss, one that would count, but could not light the lamp the rest of the way.
John Tavares was awarded an empty net goal as he was hauled down from behind by Teuvo Teravainen with just 32 seconds left in the game to close out the scoring.
The offside call was a huge let down at the time and Skinner admitted he should have dragged his foot crossing the line instead of having it off the ice.
It was another game where the Hurricanes controlled most of the play, had puck possession for large chunks of time, and outshot their opponent by a wide margin, (46-22) but still came up on the losing side.
This sets up another important, pivotal game as the Devils visit Raleigh for a rematch of Thursday’s game at 5 P.M. on Sunday.
Game Notes: Faulk led the team with five shots on goal while Victor Rask was next with four. The game was a physical contest but the Canes were out-hit by New York, 37-23. Jordan Staal had eight hits to lead the home team. Skinner led both teams with five takeaways. The Canes won 64% of the game’s faceoffs. The Islanders blocked a ton of shots and held a 27-13 advantage in that stat.
Bob Wage: @CanesEdge