Thursday's 6-4 win was a roller coaster ride for the New York Islanders, but one that ultimately ended with two points.
The home team jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period, watched it slip away in the second and rallied for the win in the third over the Carolina Hurricanes. Johnny Boychuk's slapper from the half wall broke a 4-4 tie at 15:35 of the third, as the Isles improved to 6-0-2 this season at Barclays Center.
"Overall we're happy with the win and it's a good two points for us," said Boychuk, who was +5 on the evening. "When we're at home we tend to play well. We played well for two periods, we just have to get a solid three periods together."
Video: Barzal, Boychuk help Islanders rally past Hurricanes
The Islanders have searched for consistency this season, but they haven't had to search for offense, as they've scored five or more goals eight time in 18 games. Mathew Barzal (1G, 2A) led the way with three points Thursday, while four other Islanders chipped in two points.
The goals came in bunches for the Islanders, who scored three in the first period for the second straight game. Barzal opened the scoring, as he kept and shot on a two-on-one rush, beating Scott Darling under the glove at 16:21. Cal Clutterbuck (1G, 1A) made it 2-0 on a shorthanded breakaway 36 seconds later, but Carolina negated the effort with Elias Lindholm's power-play goal at 17:30. Nick Leddy capped the furious finish of the first with his fourth of the season, putting a shot off Darling's glove and in.
Video: CAR@NYI: Barzal, Clutterbuck score within 36 seconds
The Hurricanes responded in the second period, taking a 4-3 lead with three unanswered goals. Jordan Staal's pass caromed off Adam Pelech right to Noah Hanifin to make it 3-2 at 2:54, while Derek Ryan backhanded the tying goal through Greiss at 11:19. Sebastian Aho finished a backdoor play from Teuvo Teravainen to give Carolina a 4-3 lead with 52 seconds left in the period and the Islanders knew they had to clean up their play in the third.
"We were kind of panicking, kind of snoozing there for a bit in the second and our older guys told us to wake up and that we're a better team than that and we responded well," Barzal said.
Video: CAR@NYI: Bailey finishes Lee's no-look setup for PPG
The Islanders got back into the game with their power play, as Josh Bailey tapped in a nifty backhand feed from Anders Lee at 7:22. Head Coach Doug Weight said assistant coaches Kelly Buchberger and Scott Gomez - who run the team's power play - made adjustments after the Isles went 0-for-2 early.
Video: CAR@NYI: Boychuk puts Isles ahead late with one-timer
Tied 4-4, the Islanders continued to push, led by an energetic effort from the fourth line. Casey Cizikas set up the winning goal, driving the puck into the Hurricanes zone before feeding a trailing Boychuk who hammered home the game winner. Jordan Eberle iced the game with an empty-netter with 1:18 to play, sending the fans and troops home happy on Military Appreciation Night.
Thomas Greiss made 28 saves in the win. Scott Darling made 30 saves in the loss. The Islanders and Hurricanes meet again on Sunday night in Raleigh.
Video: VetDog drops puck on Military Appreciation Night
The Islanders kick off a back-to-back set this weekend against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Video: NYI 6, CAR 4: Mathew Barzal
Video: NYI 6, CAR 4: Johnny Boychuk
Video: NYI 6, CAR 4: Nick Leddy