John Tavares did it again. He bathed in kryptonite and helped the Islanders defeat the Hurricanes 4-3 in regulation Saturday night. The contest was tied 3-3 going into the final round, but the young center found the puck past Justin Peters, who stepped in for injured Ward, for the game winner. It was Tavares’ second goal of the game. He also claimed an assist off of Frans Nielsen’s power play goal in the second period. Tavares ended the 4 game series with an annoying 12 points, including three game winners.
Canes didn’t give in easily to the series sweep. It was a close contest throughout with even shots on goal and tallies….until successful wrister from Tavares. Kyle Okposo got the Isles on the board first at 2:07 from Grabner and Streit. Brandon Sutter would answer for the Canes at 13:47 with an assist from Patrick Dwyer.
Carolina was unable to convert on three extra-man advantage opportunities during the opening twenty minutes. Jeff Skinner also went to the box for roughing in the first. He would also do a little roughing after the final buzzer. I have no problem with Skinner’s passion in the game as long as he isn’t acting on his temper.
Jiri Tlusty extended his point streak to seven games just seconds into the second round. Jerome Samson was credited with his first NHL assist this season. Four minutes later, *freakin* Tavares tied it up 2-2. As Tim Brent sat in the sin bin for hooking, Nielsen helped New York regain the lead 3-2.
Canes answered off a quick face-off win from Staal and Spacek made a successful slap shot past Kevin Poulin. Poulin was called up from the AHL to replace Evenjeni Nabokov who is out with the flu and made 33 saves against Carolina. Ward stopped 18 of 21 shots before leaving the ice after the second with a lower-body injury. Peters would take the loss.
Hurricanes fought well after Tavares’ final goal. I really liked Brandon Sutter’s game. You couldn’t see an Islander without seeing a Sutter when he was on the ice. He was fast and physical. Well done sir.
There were a series of attempts as the clock dwindled down, but no Canes’ pucks found the back of the net. The building was RBC Center loud and the Hurricanes boys didn’t hear the buzzer as another shot was fired. Therefore, the game ended with a slight scrum which earned Jay Harrison a 10 minute misconduct and 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Canes are now tied with Buffalo in last place. The points would have been nice, but I’m not disappointed in our game. It was a tough, well played contest. Up next…the Washington Capitals Monday night. Every game is a must win. Stayed tuned to Cardiac Cane tomorrow for the full preview.
Let’s Go Canes!