BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The Carolina Hurricanes saw their five-game point streak come to an end in a 6-4 loss to the New York Islanders.
The Hurricanes scored three straight goals to take a second-period lead, but the Islanders countered back with three of their own in the third to remain unbeaten in regulation at home this season.
Here are five takeaways from tonight's Metropolitan Division tilt.
For whatever reason, when the Hurricanes and Islanders have met recently, the games have a proclivity to be back-and-forth, high-scoring affairs.
Tonight, after the first half of the first period trudged along, that's exactly what this game developed into.
"We seem to have high-scoring games against this team. There was a lot of emotion and a lot of ups-and-downs," Jordan Staal said. "We have to find ways to stay stronger in the third, stick with it and keep the puck out of our net."
Then, things opened up. The two teams combined for four goals in three minutes and ten seconds towards the end of the first period, and it was the Islanders taking a 3-1 lead to the locker room.
The Hurricanes surrendered goals to Matthew Barzal and Cal Clutterbuck (a shorthanded breakaway tally) before Elias Lindholm redirected a Sebastian Aho shot on the Canes' first power play of the game - a very similar set-up to Teuvo Teravainen's power-play goal on Monday against Dallas - to slice the Islanders' lead in half. Nick Leddy's point shot with 29 seconds left in the first period eluded Scott Darling's glove hand and restored the home team's two-goal advantage.
Video: CAR@NYI: Lindholm deflects home point shot for PPG
"I just thought we played slow. I didn't think we had much jump or execution on the first time we touched it. We had to do everything the hard way. It was just a real grind," head coach Bill Peters said of the early part of the game. "Give them credit. They were better than us and quicker than us early in the game."
We saw a different Hurricanes team in the second period, the team that assembled a five-game point streak coming into tonight's game. The Canes were quick on their feet, making plays and converting when given opportunities, and they were rewarded with a 4-3 lead heading into the second intermission.
"We were skating," Staal said. "We were executing well, creating plays and playing in their end, all the things we want to do to win games."
"I think we played fast," Aho said. "We made some plays."
The fun started when Noah Hanifin dished the puck below the goal line to Staal, who walked with it and attempted a centering feed to Jeff Skinner. Skinner couldn't field it, but the puck fortuitously ricocheted off the skate of Adam Pelech to an open area of the ice where Hanifin happened to be in the right spot at the right time to tap in the puck in and bring the Canes within a goal.
Video: CAR@NYI: Hanifin buries loose puck in front
Later, the Canes won a battle in the near corner to work the puck out to the point, where a rebound off a Brett Pesce slap shot created chaos in front of Thomas Greiss. Derek Ryan located it with a backhand and the puck trickled through Greiss and in to draw the score even.
Video: CAR@NYI: Ryan pots rebound to tie the game
In the last minute of the period, the Canes took their first and only lead of the game on a beauty of a sequence from the top line. Staal manhandled Matthew Barzal off the puck in the corner and slid a pass to Teravainen through Calvin de Haan's skates. Teravainen then dangled and threaded the needle through a crouching defender and a reaching stick to find Aho alongside of the net for the one-timer, Aho's second goal in as many games.
"We needed to dig in. I don't think we got started on time, and we dug a pretty deep hole at 3-1," Peters said. "Then we found a way to come back."
Video: CAR@NYI: Teravainen feeds Aho for go-ahead goal
Unfortunately, the Canes were unable to preserve their lead in the third period, as Josh Bailey and Johnny Boychuk scored to put the Islanders back on top for good. New York added an empty-net goal late to seal their sixth victory on home ice.
"We just got outworked in the third and the first. I thought we did a great job of getting back into it and moving our feet in the second. We just stopped skating," Staal said. "We got outworked, and they continued to play a great game until the end and found ways to score goals."
"Maybe we should just keep playing the same way and keep making plays," Aho said. "Just play our own game."
"We've got to look at how we've been successful leading up to tonight: playing 60 minutes, having the ability to roll all four lines and find a way to have everyone make a positive contribution," Peters said. "Tonight we didn't have that and weren't able to do that."
A game after combining for 11 points (4g, 7a) against Dallas, the line of Aho-Staal-Teravainen again showed up big on the scoresheet for the Canes, who have now scored three or more goals in five straight games.
Tonight, the trio combined for six points (1g, 5a) and constituted the team's most dangerous offensive threat.
"Those guys are good," Staal said. "They know what to do when they have the puck. They know how to find holes and create plays."
"I think that line has been dangerous, and they've been dangerous for a long time," Peters said. "Now they're starting to roll a little bit. That was a good line for us, but we're going to need more than one line being productive and getting it done, especially on the road."
It's a short flight to Buffalo now, where the Hurricanes will take on the Sabres on Saturday night.