Another home game, another loss for the New York Islanders.
Bobby Sanguinetti's first National Hockey League goal proved to be the game-winner as the Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 4-2 win at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night.
Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin each tallied a goal and an assist, while Eric Staal also scored for the injury-depleted Hurricanes (9-7-1), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Cam Ward made 23 saves in the win.
"This was a good win because we didn't quit and played a solid third period," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "I feel great for Bobby because tonight was his strongest game for us yet. He's a good skilled player who moves the puck well, and he was solid on both ends of the ice."
John Tavares and Matt Moulson helped the Isles jump out to a 2-0 lead, but it wasn't enough to prevent them from losing on home ice for the seventh time in nine games this season. Kevin Poulin gave up three goals on 27 shots in the loss in his season debut.
The loss prevented New York (8-10-2) from getting back to the .500 mark. Indeed, it was no way to start a seven-game homestand.
"That's just the way it goes sometimes and we have to bounce back and have good shifts," Tavares said. "But we didn't. We were just sloppy and didn't do the things in the second half that made us successful in the first half of the game."
Trailing by two goals, the Hurricanes – who were missing Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu, Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason and Jamie McBain -- got one on the power play late in the second period. After a faceoff win, Semin's slap shot went off the ankle of an Islanders defenseman and popped into the air. Eric Staal was at the left side of the net and he was able to smack it out of the air for his ninth of the season with 1:32 left in the period.
Just 45 seconds later, Carolina tied the game as Jordan Staal's snap shot from the slot beat Poulin to make it 2-2.
"The first goal on the power play was a big one," Eric Staal said. "Then to have Jordan tie it right away was also huge. And our third period was strong. This was key for us."
The Hurricanes then took a 3-2 lead just past the midway mark of the final frame as Patrick Dwyer rushed into the Islanders' zone down the left wing before feeding Sanguinetti, who sent a wrister from the slot past Poulin for his first NHL goal.
"That was a feeling I can't even describe right now," said Sanguinetti, who was drafted in the first round (No. 21) by the New York Rangers in 2006. "To finally score in the NHL and have it be a game winner is incredible. And I'm glad I scored it in New York."
Semin put the game out of reach with an empty-net tally at 19:30.
"We didn't play obviously the way we needed to play," Isles coach Jack Capuano said. "We told them before the game we're two spots out of a playoff spot. No emotion, no spirit in the room. I could see it going into the game."
But New York took a 1-0 lead just 4:38 in as a Brad Boyes skated the puck down low and just before going behind the net he centered it to Moulson, who one-timed it past Ward for his 10th goal of the season.
The Islanders went up by a pair as Tavares snapped it into the right corner of the net from the left circle on a 2-on-1 for his 13th goal of the season with 7:35 left in the first.
"We shouldn't have been up 2-0 – let's not kid ourselves," Capuano said. "As coaches, we prepared them. We didn't change anything that we've done the last two games. And, for whatever reason, we didn't execute.
"It's frustrating, obviously. You play well on the road, you come back here in front of your fans that are very passionate, that want to see good hockey … and it's unacceptable."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.