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Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3

The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Jiri Tlusty, Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner scored in a 13-minute span in the second period Saturday night and the Carolina Hurricanes hung on for a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Tlusty added a third-period goal for the Hurricanes, who hadn't scored more than three goals since a 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders on April 23.

The win was the second in a row for Carolina (4-2-3), which took over sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division. Goalie Cam Ward had 22 saves.

Matt Moulson, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders (3-3-2), who have lost four of their last five (1-3-1). Nielsen and Okposo scored in the final seven minutes, but it was too little too late as the islanders fell to Carolina in their first game between New York and Carolina as division rivals.

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov had 19 saves.

The Islanders lost defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a concussion early in the first. Visnovsky had to be helped off the ice after he absorbed a hard hit along the boards from Radek Dvorak and didn't return to the bench the rest of the game.

New York got another injury scare just beyond the midway point of the second, when defenseman Matt Carkner crashed into Nabokov as he followed a breakaway by the Hurricanes. The force of the collision sent Nabokov into the back of the net, which came off its moorings. Nabokov was motionless for a few minutes but stayed in the game.

The two teams played a scoreless first period in which they combined for just 14 shots on goal -- seven apiece -- but the Hurricanes needed just 65 seconds to get on the board in the second, when Tlusty poked back a rebound of Eric Staal's shot on a 3-on-2 rush.

The Hurricanes doubled the lead less than six minutes later on a power-play goal by Jordan Staal, who passed to Eric Murphy at the blue line, took an immediate pass back from Murphy and beat Nabokov.

Carolina notched its second three-goal period in as many games when Travis Hamonic turned the puck over at center ice and Skinner eluded Andrew MacDonald, who was trying to poke the puck free from behind, and fired a shot past Nabokov.

The Hurricanes also scored three goals in the third period of a 3-2 win over Toronto on Thursday.

The Islanders got on the board with 1:07 left in the third, when Moulson put back MacDonald's slapshot for a power-play goal.

Tlusty scored with 8:56 left and Nielsen's power-play goal pulled the Islanders within two with 6:41 left. Okposo scored with 1:01 left, seconds after a power play expired, but the Islanders could not get the game-tying goal despite a furious rally in the final seconds.

NOTES: The Islanders scratched LW Eric Boulton, D Matt Donovan and C Brock Nelson. The Hurricanes scratched D Brett Bellemore, C Elias Lindholm and LW Brett Sutter. ... Hurricanes D Mike Komisarek was active for just the second time this season. Komisarek is from Islip Terrace, about half an hour from Nassau Coliseum, and had more than a dozen family members and friends at the game. ... C John Tavares entered Saturday with more goals against Carolina (12) than against any other opponent, even though Saturday marked just the 16th time he had faced the Hurricanes. ... This year marks the 15th time the Hurricanes have had at least nine points through eight games -- eight times as the Whalers from 1979 through 1997 and seven times since moving to Carolina.
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