Islanders hold on to beat Hurricanes
Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Colin McDonald and Matt Martin each had two goals and the New York Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Tuesday to post consecutive wins for the first time in more than two months.
The Islanders struck quickly with four goals in the first 10:54 of the game -- chasing Hurricanes starting goaltender Cam Ward in the process -- then were outscored 4-1 the rest of the way.
But they escaped to win their second straight game for the first time since beating the Flyers and Rangers on Jan. 20 and 21.
"We've been struggling holding onto leads all year so I think ... we just looked at it as another challenge," said McDonald about the Carolina comeback that fell short.
Cal Clutterbuck also scored, McDonald added an assist and Anders Nilsson had 24 saves for the Islanders, who were coming off Sunday's 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets.
Ward was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots in the first 6:12 of the game. Anton Khudobin made 21 saves on 23 shots after that, including nine in a scoreless third period.
Jeff Skinner, Andrei Loktionov, Alexander Semin and Nathan Gerbe had the goals for the Hurricanes, who have lost two of three.
The Islanders snapped a six-game losing streak to the Hurricanes. They had 10 shots before the Hurricanes got their first.
The first two goals were nearly identical: The Islanders won offensive right- circle draws back to the right point and long shots produced tight rebounds that were deposited into the net.
McDonald jammed home Thomas Hickey's rebound at 3:39 and Clutterbuck put a backhand in the net 1:47 later after Blake Nelson's shot. Ward was pulled after McDonald's second goal, a one-timer from the low left side.
"It was a tough start," said Skinner. "A couple of weird bounces and it just seemed to snowball."
Khudobin was on the ice for less than five minutes before New York scored again. He lost the puck behind him after an initial stop and Martin was there to fire it in for a 4-0 Islanders lead after 10:54.
Skinner and Loktionov cut Carolina's deficit in half in a flash. Skinner, on a power play, scored on a rebound at 12:38 with Nilsson on his back in net behind a scrum. Loktionov got behind the defense and beat Nilsson with a sharp-angle forehand after drawing the Islanders goalie out a bit.
Semin's power play goal 2:42 into the second period drew the Hurricanes with one, and Gerbe did the same later on an impossible angle shot he roofed into the net at 17:19 -- just 22 seconds after Martin had made it 5-3 for the Islanders with his second goal of the game.
It was the ninth time in the last 13 games between the teams that the outcome was decided by one goal ... The Islanders remain on the road to play Tampa Bay on Thursday ... The Hurricanes are also on the road Thursday to play Florida.
03/25 23:03:23 ET