Islanders-Hurricanes Preview

The Associated Press

The Carolina Hurricanes appeared headed for another loss before regrouping to earn a much-needed two points their last time out.

If their efforts against the New York Islanders are any indication, they may be able to take another step in the right direction Thursday night.

Carolina (5-7-3) had been outscored 18-5 during a five-game losing streak before beating Philadelphia 2-1 in overtime Tuesday. Jordan Staal tied the game with 52.3 seconds left in regulation and newcomer Manny Malhotra scored 2:40 into the extra period.

"We did a lot of good things as a team, and scoring is the icing on the cake," said Malhotra, who was playing in his third game since signing Oct. 31. "I'm just trying to do the little things that make teams successful."

Continuing to start in place of the injured Cam Ward, Justin Peters made 28 saves to earn his first win in six games this season.

"We gave up the late goal, but for us to stay with it was rewarding," Peters said. "We played the right way. We want to use this momentum. It feels good, and we've got to want this again."

While the Hurricanes were feeling good following Tuesday's showing, they know they still have their work cut out. Carolina ranks near the bottom of the NHL with 1.93 goals per game.

"A few more smiles around here, but at the same time it's one win," left wing Drayson Bowman told the team's official website. "We've got to keep pressing, and we certainly can't rest on that. It went down to the wire, and if we keep bringing the same work ethic, it will turn for us."

Carolina is hoping to see its momentum carry over against the Islanders (6-6-3), who have allowed 17 goals in dropping four straight in the series. The Hurricanes are 21-6-5 versus New York since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Carolina's Jiri Tlusty posted two goals and Staal also scored in a 4-3 win at New York on Oct. 19. Tlusty has nine points during a five-game streak against the Islanders, and captain Eric Staal has 17 goals and 14 assists in his last 25 matchups.

New York recorded its first set of back-to-back victories before opening a four-game road swing with Tuesday's 6-2 loss to Washington. Evgeni Nabokov gave up all six goals as the Capitals converted four of six power-play opportunities.

The Islanders came up empty on five chances and are 0 for 18 in their last five games. Their opponents are 8 for 18 during that stretch.

"Our special teams weren't very good," captain John Tavares said. "Our PK has to be better."

Nabokov went 8-1-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average versus Carolina before allowing seven goals in losing his last two matchups. Peters is 1-1-0 with a 1.52 GAA against the Islanders.

Peters will need to be wary of Kyle Okposo, who has seven points in three games this month. Okposo has four goals and five assists in his last eight against Carolina.

Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner could miss his sixth consecutive game due to an upper-body injury. Skinner's nine points are tied with Eric Staal for the team lead.

What to Read Next