Analysis from Brooklyn
→ In a span of 24 hours, the Carolina Hurricanes earned four of a possible four points, following up their one-goal win over Edmonton at home with a 5-4 overtime win over the New York Islanders, who the Canes have now leapfrogged in the standings.
"Maybe not the sharpest defensively played game, and it turned into an entertaining one," said Ron Hainsey, who tallied two goals, including the game-winner in overtime. "It was a lot of hard work, and it wasn't pretty, obviously, but we were able to get it done."
"It was a huge win for us," Lee Stempniak said. "We know the situation we're in. For us, every two points is big."
Video: Hainsey scores OT winner to lift 'Canes to 5-4 win
→ After killing off just over a minute of a 4-on-3 power play, the Hurricanes settled into 3-on-3 overtime play. John Tavares broke his stick, and the Hurricanes took advantage of that, as they slid the puck over to Hainsey for the game-winning shot.
"We caught a lucky break there with JT breaking his stick off the draw, and we were able to set up a nice play," Hainsey said.
"I like the composure on the game-winner," head coach Bill Peters said. "3-on-3 with no stick, and they were able to isolate that."
This after the Hurricanes were outplayed in the third period. The Canes registered just two shots on goal in the final 20 minutes of regulation and didn't generate a chance on a late-period power play.
"Their D were up in the rush, creating a lot of problems for us, sometimes on the forecheck and sometimes just on little chip plays when they were getting the puck," Hainsey said. "They were pouring it on. They had their legs going, definitely a bit better than us in the second half, but we were able to get some timely goals."
→ When the Hurricanes meet up with the Islanders, it apparently means goals. After the first period ended in a 1-1 score, the two teams combined for five goals in the second period, three weeks after the Hurricanes scored six goals in the final two periods to win a 7-4 contest.
"That was a busy game," Peters said. "Some factors going into this one, but lots of goals in both games for sure."
Tonight's second period was one of responses. Twice when the Islanders scored, not even a minute elapsed on the clock before the Hurricanes answered back.
"Heading into the break, we were getting shelled a little bit. It was almost like we were shell-shocked. We'd give up a goal and then a second and third and the game was away from us quickly. We've done a lot better job of responding to any adversity," Stempniak explained. "Goals against are going to happen sometimes, and it's all how you respond to it. You can't let things snowball. Today was a great example of us parking the mistake if it happened and move on."
New York took a 2-1 lead just over two minutes into the second period. A neutral zone turnover resulted in the puck going the other way, and Casey Cizikas got his stick on a Ryan Strome shot. Just 21 seconds later, the Hurricanes tied the game. Elias Lindholm, who continues to be a dish master, delivered a perfect feed to Hainsey, creeping up in the slot. Hainsey one-timed in his third goal of the season.
"His hands are really going, and he's making a lot of really good plays. He's really been good with the puck for a long stretch here," Hainsey said of Lindholm. "I didn't know he knew - I hadn't got a chance to yell for it, and he had it on my tape. It was just a great pass by him. He's been making a lot of them lately."
Not even two minutes later, the Hurricanes took a one-goal lead, as birthday boy Stempniak elected to hold on to the puck, shoot and score on a 2-on-1 rush. It was Stempniak's 10th goal of the season and first since the Canes last faced the Islanders three weeks ago.
With a minute to play in the period, the Islanders tied the game after mounting offensive pressure. Ward had just denied Thomas Hickey's point-blank opportunity by extending his pad, but on the very next rush, Brock Nelson's wrist shot found the back of the net.
In the final minute, the Canes turned the puck over in the offensive zone, and the Islanders raced off the other way. Jaccob Slavin got on his horse and broke up the partial breakaway without taking a penalty. He then moved the puck back up the ice, and with 1.1 seconds left on the clock, Teuvo Teravainen located a loose puck in the slot and buried it - like Stempniak, it was his first goal since the Canes last faced the Islanders eight games ago.
"That's the way you've got to answer," Peters said. "The Teravainen goal with the clock winding down in the second ends up being a huge goal."
"You want to keep going if you make mistakes," Hainsey said. "It's much easier to forget whatever happened for the goal against if you come back, score a goal and get the lead back."
→ After the Hurricanes killed an early penalty, a holding minor levied against Brett Pesce, Slavin unleashed a rocket of a slap shot that found its home in the top corner of the net.
About 90 seconds later, the Islanders evened the score when Anders Lee deflected in former Hurricane Dennis Seidenberg's shot.
→ The Hurricanes' schedule opens up a bit this week. They play Tuesday in Washington and Saturday afternoon in Dallas before breaking for their five-day bye week. The Canes have an off day in our nation's capital on Sunday and a practice day on Monday before re-matching with the Caps, who claimed a 6-1 win on Jan. 23.
"We didn't play well last time we were in that building, so we've got to have a better response. Then we go to Dallas to finish off before the bye week, so two games that we've got to dial in on," Peters said. "We know what we have to do. We've divided what's left in the season into segments, and we know how many points we have to get in each segment. We're on our way."