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Islanders
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OT
37 SOG
35 SOG
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game recap

Hurricanes rally to beat Isles 3-2 in OT

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM

NHL.com

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Hurricanes rally to beat Isles 3-2 in OT
New York Islanders 2, Carolina Hurricanes 3
Cam Ward gave the Carolina Hurricanes a chance to win. Eric Cole and Joni Pitkanen turned Ward's goaltending heroics into a much-needed two points.

Ward stopped 35 shots, including a handful of breakaways, before Cole tied the game with 4:37 left in regulation and Pitkanen scored with 62 seconds left in overtime as the Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Friday night.

The come-from-behind win gives the 'Canes 76 points, the same as eighth-place Buffalo in the East. The Sabres own the tie-breaker because they have two games in hand -- they host Atlanta on Saturday and Nashville on Sunday before the Hurricanes play again on Tuesday night against Ottawa.

Ward was flawless after allowing Michael Grabner's rebound goal early in the second period that gave New York a 2-1 lead. The Isles dominated the middle period, outshooting Carolina 17-8, but couldn't get another puck past Ward.

Grabner alone kept Ward busy -- the goaltender had to stop him on three breakaways among the speedy rookie's nine shots on goal.

"To be able to make the saves, those could be game changers," Ward said. "We saw (Grabner) here at the All-Star Game, and he showed us what he can do with all that speed that he has."

The third period was a different story -- the 'Canes outshot New York 14-5 and tied it when Cory Stillman took the puck away from Frans Nielsen behind the Isles' net and fed Cole for a quick snap shot past Al Montoya.

"It was really important as a team that you can find that desperation level, and we found it," said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice. "To be able to change gears and have some good things start happening is really important, because now we know it's there."

Jeff Skinner, who scored Carolina's first goal, then set up Pitkanen for the winner. He held the puck in the corner, saw Pitkanen beat his defender to the net and fed the defenseman for a blast from the slow that rang off the right post and in

"It's easy to let it creep into your mind, but you've just got to be able to have the confidence that when you get that puck you're going to snap it in," Ward said. "I think Joni had some confidence on that shot."

The Islanders, who've been among the NHL's better teams since the All-Star break, got 32 saves from Montoya but were unable to close out a more desperate opponent.

"Obviously Montoya gave us a chance to win," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "He made a couple of big saves. I thought Cam Ward was excellent tonight. He was the first star of the game."

With three days off, it figures to be an anxious weekend of scoreboard-watching in Raleigh.

"I'll watch the scores," Maurice said. "I'm going to run as many superstitions as I possibly can and we'll see how it goes."

Material from team media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
16:33
CAR
Jeff Skinner (25) Tip-in - ASST: Jussi Jokinen (31), Tuomo Ruutu (31)
1 - 0 CAR
17:52
NYI
Frans Nielsen (10) Backhand shot - ASST: Michael Grabner (15), Radek Martinek (11)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
03:10
NYI
Michael Grabner (29) Backhand shot - ASST: Travis Hamonic (18), Frans Nielsen (30)
2 - 1 NYI
3rd Period
15:23
CAR
Erik Cole (20) Snap shot - ASST: Cory Stillman (21)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
03:58
CAR
Joni Pitkanen (3) Slapshot - ASST: Jeff Skinner (27), Eric Staal (35)
3 - 2 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
04:26
NYI
Micheal Haley  Interference against  Jerome Samson
06:58
CAR
Jay Harrison  Hooking against  Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
16:43
CAR
Tim Gleason  Cross checking against  John Tavares
3rd Period
01:00
CAR
Tim Gleason  Roughing against  Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
08:41
CAR
Chad LaRose  Hooking against  Kyle Okposo
12:17
NYI
John Tavares  Interference against  Erik Cole
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Al Montoya
SA: 35TOI: 63:58
Saves: 32EV: 27 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .914SH: 2 - 2
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
30-24-9
SA: 37TOI: 63:48
Saves: 35EV: 32 - 34
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .946SH: 0 - 0