The Carolina Hurricanes extended their winning streak to two for the first time in over a month with a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders.
Even more important for the Canes was that depth players played an important role in earning the win, a problem that had been hurting the Hurricanes lately this season.
Patrick Dwyer scored Carolina’s third goal while Jordan Staal ended an 11 game goalless drought with the Canes’ second goal and added an assist on the Dwyer goal. Alexander Semin scored the Hurricanes first goal extending his point streak to three games.
That goal came after John Tavares‘ line dominated play for 15 seconds in the Hurricanes’ zone against Staal’s line. The goal seemed to waken the younger Staal brother, who scored his goal about eight minutes later when he deflected a shot from Jay Harrison at the point. That goal gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead.
Semin had scored about four minutes into the game when he shot the puck between a standing Evgeni Nabokov‘s pads from the left side of the Russian goaltender. Nabokov was expecting Semin to pass to Jamie McBain, who was open on the other side of the net.
The Islanders tied the game again in the second period after Kyle Okposo fired a wrist shot at Ellis. The Canadian goaltender made the save, but let out a rebound. Bobby Sanguinetti was looking for the puck instead of picking up New York’s Josh Bailey, who found the puck and slammed it past Ellis for his 11th of the season.
Pat Dwyer took the Hurricanes’ third lead of the game when he shot a one-timer past an out-of-position Nabokov.
It looked like the Hurricanes would win the game in regulation; stopping the Islanders from clinching a playoff spot, but Tavares dragged the Islanders into overtime by passing the puck to Okposo for a simple tip-in goal.
The game eventually went into a shootout where Brad Boyes and Frans Nielsens missed their chances for the Islanders and Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner scored for the Canes. Despite not winning the game, the Islanders clinched a playoff spot.
The Hurricanes needed some scoring from the depth players and they got what the doctor ordered. If it can continue into the final two games of the season and into next year, it will be huge for the Canes team.