UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Carolina Hurricanes are finding ways to win at both ends of the ice.
Jiri Tlusty and Jordan Staal did their part to keep Carolina’s success on Long Island keep on going.
Tlusty scored his first two goals of the season, Staal and Jeff Skinner also scored, and Cam Ward made 22 saves as the Hurricanes held on for a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
Tlusty netted his first goal 1:05 into the second, jamming a loose puck past Evgeni Nabokov. Staal added his first with a wrist shot from the left circle at 6:36, and Skinner made it 3-0 at 13:37 with his third. He leads the Hurricanes (4-2-3) with nine points.
“We’ve played a lot of consistent hockey so far. We’re working hard for 60 minutes,” said Staal, the younger brother of Hurricanes captain Eric Staal who joined Carolina in a trade with Pittsburgh in 2012. “Once we get going, we don’t stop. To see Jiri bury two for us was huge.”
Carolina won all three meetings last season from the Islanders, who are now their division rivals. The Hurricanes are 21-5-5 in their last 31 games against New York and 10-1-2 in their past 13 visits to Nassau Coliseum.
“Our game has been better in terms of getting into areas where you have to score,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. “We were strong in the first two periods, and our objective all night was to eliminate scoring chances. It’s nice that we’re playing well defensively and the goals are starting to kick in for us, too.”
Matt Moulson broke through for the Islanders with his third of the season on the power play with 1:07 left in the second. John Tavares assisted, giving him a seven-game point streak. The Islanders captain has four goals and six assists during the streak.
Tlusty scored his second of the game 11:06 into the third, finishing a 2-on-1 break with Alexander Semin. The Hurricanes are second in the new eight-team Metropolitan Division, three points behind Pittsburgh.
New York’s Frans Nielsen scored his fourth on a power play at 13:19 of the third before Kyle Okposo made it 4-3 with 1:01 left.
The Islanders (3-3-2) sustained their first regulation loss in five home games. New York had previously posted two wins and two shootout losses.
“Tonight you saw a clear example of us trying one move too many,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “We didn’t generate enough opportunities. We have the skill and resiliency. but we have to play a full 60 minutes. You don’t want to give up two points in your division.”
The Islanders were forced to play with only five defencemen after veteran Lubomir Visnovsky was knocked out of the game with five minutes left in the first period. The team said he sustained a concussion after absorbing a hard hit along the boards from Carolina’s Radek Dvorak.
The Islanders had another scare with just over nine minutes left the second when Nabokov collided with sliding teammate Matt Carkner in the crease. Nabokov was face down for several minutes, and was attended to by a trainer before he slowly got to his feet and stayed in the game.
NOTES: The Islanders loaned rookie centre Brock Nelson to Bridgeport of the AHL after the game. He had one assist in four games this season. … Hurricanes defenceman Ron Hainsey played in his 600th NHL game. … Carolina was without injured goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body), forward Elias Lindholm (upper body) and defencemen Tim Gleason (concussion) and Joni Pitkanen (heel surgery). … Long Island native Mike Komisarek played his second game for the Hurricanes. The 31-year-old defenceman previously played for Montreal and Toronto. … New York will conclude its four-game homestand against Vancouver on Tuesday.