UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Carolina Hurricanes earned another hard-fought road victory, holding off the New York Islanders by a score of 4-3 at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.
It was a night of firsts for forwards Jiri Tlusty and Jordan Staal who tallied their initial goals of the season, which were followed by Jeff Skinner’s third of the year and Tlusty’s second of the game – the eventual game-winner.
The Hurricanes’ top line found its spark propelling Tlusty to get out of his eight-game scoring slump with the help of linemates Eric Staal (2 assists) and Alexander Semin (2 assists), while goaltender Cam Ward finished his second consecutive start with 22 saves and another win.
After both teams skated to a scoreless first period, Tlusty initiated a three-goal scoring run by the Hurricanes that included a power play goal from Staal, and an impressive backhander from Skinner that helped to pin the host Islanders’ shoulders to the mat with 6:23 remaining in the second period.
New York didn’t lie down for long as a Matt Moulson power play goal cut the Carolina lead to 3-1 heading into the final period of play.
After winning the third period in each of their previous two games, the Hurricanes needed to keep the Islanders at bay for only 20 more minutes, and managed to do that by adding another goal from Tlusty at 11:06 to all but secure the victory.
However, New York made a strong surge to tie the game, scoring two unanswered goals in a span of five minutes including one with the man-advantage that forced Carolina to tighten up its defensive stand to hold on for the win.
“We focused on having a really good first period, which I thought we did,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said afterwards.
“We had a really strong second. Just naturally in the third, you knew that they would be pressin’. They came and we had some questionable penalties that put us in a position that we don’t want to be in late. Other than that, I thought we had a good effort.”