Analysis from Raleigh
→ It wasn't as high scoring as the first three meetings between these two teams this season, but it was still an entertaining 60-plus minutes of hockey. Extra time was required to settle tonight's contest, and the Carolina Hurricanes grabbed a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. John Tavares netted the game-winning goal not a minute into 3-on-3 action.
"It was definitely the start we needed, especially after the game last night," Jaccob Slavin said. "We had some good opportunities as well, but we just couldn't get it done tonight."
"I didn't think it was going to be 8-4 or 12 goals combined. Tonight was a little more realistic. I thought both goaltenders played well," head coach Bill Peters said. "There were some breakdowns both ways, and the goaltenders bailed some people out."
Video: CAR Recap: Canes fall in overtime to Isles, 3-2
→ Tavares notched the game-winner just 34 seconds into overtime, as the Islanders scored three unanswered goals to skate away with the two points.
"They came down with a good amount of speed," Slavin said. "Tavares made a pretty good shot."
"We gave up a lot here tonight, I thought," Peters said. "You don't want to give up the amount and quantity we gave up."
→ After an offensively-fueled game the night prior, the Hurricanes had the start they were looking for, opening the scoring in the first period and stretching their lead in the second.
Carolina forced a turnover along the far wall, and Lee Stempniak dished to Joakim Nordstrom, who scored his second goal in as many contests to get the Canes on the board first. Playing in his second game, Lucas Wallmark tallied his first NHL point with the secondary assist on Nordstrom's marker.
In the second period, Elias Lindholm forced a turnover and skated the puck down the ice, beating Thomas Greiss for his seventh goal of the season.
"Is he ever playing well," Peters said of Lindholm, who now has points in four straight games. "He made a real good play on the goal, a good, quick release. He's playing very, very well, and that's a positive for us moving forward."
The Hurricanes were in control of the game, notably lower scoring than the match 24 hours prior.
"People were cutting people off. There wasn't as much room out there," Slavin said. "They tightened up their neutral zone a little bit, and we couldn't get through it as easy tonight."
"We knew they would come out tougher," Lindholm said. "We had to be ready. I thought we played pretty good in the beginning."
→ Then, in a span of 25 quick seconds in the waning minutes of the second period, the Islanders made it a brand new hockey game. Josh Ho-Sang tallied his second in as many games right after the Canes killed their only penalty of the game. Jason Chimera tied the game at two, as he pounced on a loose puck in the slot and buried a well-placed shot in the top corner.
"We took a breath at the end of the second there and let them back in the game," Lindholm said. "All of a sudden it's a tie game. Overall, in the first two periods I think we had good control."
→ Though the thought was that the Canes might go with Eddie Lack in net in a back-to-back situation with travel, Peters turned back to Cam Ward tonight. The veteran netminder made 23 saves in the high-scoring match in Brooklyn on Monday.
"Earlier in the week if you would have asked me what I was going to do, it would have been the other way, but there were some things that went into that. You look at Wardo's head-to-head career record," Peters explained. "I just know that if you're 22-4-5 now, that's pretty good. I know he was - there's a saying, 'Grant Fuhr good' in the '80s. It was a high-scoring affair in the '80s, and he'd give up the odd, questionable goal. But when the game was on the line, he'd shut the door. I thought Wardo did that last night. He gave up four through 40 and then shut the door. He gave us a chance here tonight."
Peters added that Lack would get back in between the pipes soon, perhaps as early as Thursday against Minnesota.
→ The Hurricanes, already without Brock McGinn, Phil Di Giuseppe and Valentin Zykov, lost another forward to injury early in the second period when Jay McClement left the game due to a lower-body injury.
"I know they braced him up and he tried to go," Peters said. "Hopefully we catch a break there. We're running on fumes a little bit."
Late in the second period, Calvin de Haan hauled down Noah Hanifin below the goal line with what looked to be a slew foot and was unpenalized. Hanifin banged his chin on the ice and missed the remainder of the period, but he rejoined the team for the final 20 minutes of regulation.
"It was an awkward play," Peters said, diplomatic when pressed for more. "It's a little bit funny, yeah."
→ The Hurricanes will play host to a pair of Western Conference opponents heading into the weekend, with Eric Staal and the Minnesota Wild in town on Thursday and Nashville stopping by on Saturday.
"He's doing great there," Lindholm said of his former teammate and captain. "It's fun to see him do good. He's a good guy and a good player."
"[Staal] has had a good year. He's a good player. 6-4, wins draws, starts with the puck," Peters said. "He's playing on a good team doing good things, so good for him."