Staal nets two as Hurricanes throttle Islanders

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) — Eric Staal scored a pair of
goals to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-2 win over the
lowly New York Islanders on Thursday.

Dennis Seidenberg, Ray Whitney and Anton Babchuk each collected
a goal and an assist and Matt Cullen also tallied for Carolina,
which won its fourth straight road game.

Sergei Samsonov had a pair of assists as the Hurricanes captured
a much needed win after losing three of four. The win gives
Carolina, which sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference,
63 points as it chases a number of teams for playoff

“We wanted to jump on them early, since they played last night,”
Staal said. “I thought we responded well throughout the whole
game. If we play the type of game that we did tonight, and also
the way that we played against Buffalo, we will get our fair
share of wins.”

Cam Ward, who had surrendered four goals in three of his last
four starts, was not tested often as Carolina controlled play
for much of the contest.

Mark Streit and Jon Sim scored for the Islanders, who have lost
seven of eight (1-6-1) and both meetings with the Hurricanes
this season.

The Islanders were coming off a 3-1 loss Wednesday against the
New York Rangers and Carolina coach Paul Maurice wanted his team
to take advantage.

“When you get a team that played an emotional game the night
before, and you get them to a 3-1 score, it certainly makes it
harder for them to bounce back,” Maurice said. “When we did
fail to hold them, our goaltender made a pretty good save. Our
back pressure was good. I felt we skated pretty well for a team
that’s played a lot of hockey lately.”

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In the previous matchup between the two teams, New York peppered
Ward with 60 shots in a 4-3 loss. The Islanders did not have
nearly the pressure in this one as Ward made 22 saves to keep
them reeling.

“Our guys were ready from the drop of the puck and we played
well for 60 minutes,” Ward said. “We’re playing a little more
desperate and with an edge. Getting that first goal really kind
of set the tone.”

Whitney put Carolina ahead 5:23 into the first period before
Streit knotted the score, 1-1, with 8:12 to go off assists from
Blake Comeau and rookie Josh Bailey.

But the Hurricanes took over late in the session on goals by
Cullen and Staal in the final four minutes of the first to take
a 3-1 lead into intermission.

“We had chances offensively,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon said.
“There were times we should have gotten it deeper, but we
didn’t. We didn’t manage the puck very well. We were sloppy in
that area. Some of our decisions were poor.”

Staal netted his team-leading 26th goal of the season with 4:11
remaining in the second and Seidenberg tallied with 16 ticks
left in the frame to give Carolina a four-goal bulge.

Joey MacDonald stopped 24 shots for New York.

“We haven’t had too many games like this,” Islanders right wing
Kyle Okposo said. “They are going to happen at times throughout
the season. We just have to rebound against New Jersey. We
have to come prepared better than we did tonight. It doesn’t
matter that it’s back-to-back games.”