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Carolina Hurricanes 3, New York Islanders 2 FINAL

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ The New York Islanders blamed themselves for losing a game they wanted in their playoff drive.

Rookie defenseman Allan Rourke ended Rick DiPietro's shutout streak in the first period and the Carolina Hurricanes went on to beat the Islanders 3-2 on Saturday night.

``Tonight was a setback,'' said Mark Parrish who scored New York's second goal. ``We lost a couple of points that we should have had and needed to have.''

The Islanders, who also got a goal from Oleg Kvasha, had won four straight. Their magic number to clinch the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot dropped to four when Buffalo only managed a tie at Pittsburgh.

``There are four games left,'' Islanders center Cliff Ronning said. ``This is still in our hands. It all comes down to how we play. How Buffalo plays shouldn't concern us.''

Carolina played spoiler as Sean Hill and Jaroslav Svoboda also scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost only once in regulation in nine games (6-1-0-2). Kevin Weekes made 36 saves, including 16 in the third period, to beat his former teammates.

DiPietro posted 3-0 shutouts in his previous two starts, but had his streak snapped at 145 minutes, 40 seconds when Rourke scored his first NHL goal 8:42 in. He didn't have a chance on the goal as DiPietro was knocked out of position in a pileup with the Carolina's Erik Cole.

``You couldn't ask for anything more than an empty net,'' Rourke said. ``It's a nice feeling, for sure.''

Hill hammered in the rebound on Eric Staal's shot with 2:03 remaining to put Carolina up 2-0 after one period.

Kvasha got the Islanders back in it when he beat Weekes from the left circle at 5:16 of the second.

The Hurricanes soon regained the two-goal lead as Svoboda beat DiPietro with a high shot from the right circle at 8:31.

Carolina got into penalty trouble in the third and the Islanders took advantage.

With Carolina short two players, Parrish scored on a deflection at 11:30 to cut the Hurricanes' lead to 3-2. The goal stood after a video review determined Parrish didn't intentionally direct the puck into the goal with his skate.

The Islanders pressed for the tying goal, but the rally stalled when Trent Hunter was called for hooking with 2:30 remaining. New York, forced to kill off the penalty, couldn't mount a sustained drive the rest of the way.

It was a satisfying homecoming for Carolina coach Peter Laviolette, who faced his former team for the first time.

Laviolette replaced Paul Maurice as Hurricanes coach on Dec. 15 after coaching the Islanders for two seasons. Laviolette was fired last spring after guiding New York into the playoffs both years.

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