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game recap

Clutterbuck leads Islanders past Hurricanes

New York forward scores in third period, OT in win against Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

Clutterbuck's overtime winner

NYI@CAR: Clutterbuck cranks a game-winning goal in OT

3/26/16: Cal Clutterbuck fires a game-winning goal off Jaccob Slavin and past Eddie Lack to seal the Islanders' win, 4-3, in overtime

  • 01:11 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- After losing four of their previous five games, the New York Islanders weren't picky about the way they won Saturday.

Cal Clutterbuck scored the tying goal in the third period, then delivered the game-winner with 13.8 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

Brock Nelson's pass set up Clutterbuck, whose shot from the slot hit Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin at the side of the net before going past goalie Eddie Lack.

"That's what it takes," said Clutterbuck, who has 15 goals, five of which are game-winners. "I can't say I feel bad."

Video: NYI@CAR: Clutterbuck buries Cizikas' feed

Jean-Francois Berube, making his fifth NHL start, struggled in the second period but made 33 saves for the Islanders (40-25-9), who hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. 

Lack made 27 saves for the Hurricanes (32-28-15).

Kyle Okposo's 21st goal of the season gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 1:35 of the first period. From the right faceoff circle, Okposo spun to his backhand and put a shot off Lack's stick and under his arm. 

"We wanted to come out and play well in the first period and I thought we did," Okposo said. "I just tried to throw a puck on net and fortunately it found its way in."

Video: NYI@CAR: Bailey's dad makes turkey call on goal

Nikolay Kulemin extended the lead to 2-0 at 15:55 of the first with a breakaway goal. Kulemin blocked Justin Faulk's shot from inside the blue line, then raced in on Lack to score high over the blocker for his second goal in as many games after going 21 games without one. 

"I just tried to be in the lane, and I saw the puck bounce right away," Kulemin said. "I saw that I could beat the defenseman to the puck. It took a nice bounce for me."

Hurricanes coach Bill Peters was not happy with his team's play through 20 minutes, when they were outshot 10-6.

"That shows you whether you're ready to compete at this stage, and we weren't early," Peters said. "That was a little disappointing. I think there are some guys who have more to offer. There are guys who can play better."

The Hurricanes answered with three quick goals to start the second period. 

Video: NYI@CAR: Skinner stuffs the puck home to tie game

Carolina scored at 59 seconds to make it 2-1. After Brett Pesce's shot was stopped, Chris Terry pushed the rebound to Victor Rask, who scored with Berube out of position. 

Jeff Skinner tied the game at 5:34 during a 4-on-4 situation. Skinner followed his shot from the left point, and when Ron Hainsey's rebound bid came out near the left post, Skinner finished for his 26th goal. 

Jay McClement's third goal of the season put the Hurricanes on top at 8:01. Berube fumbled Ryan Murphy's shot from along the boards, and when it fell away from the goaltender's pads, McClement chipped in the rebound.

Carolina outshot New York 19-7 in the second period, including six from Skinner. 

"Those are not goals that should be going in. I know that," said Berube, who is 3-1-1. "I think I owed it to the team to come back strong in the third period. The guys played huge in front of me."

Video: NYI@CAR: McClement backhands loose puck past Berube

Clutterbuck was not willing to put the responsibility on his goaltender.

"I feel like the puck just bounced the wrong way," he said. "They threw wrist shots from the point on net, and it just seemed like the thing was bouncing around in there. Generally over the course of the game, there was a good feeling that we weren't going to let those bounces prevent us from winning the game."

The veteran forward did his part to make sure on the first shift of the third period. Linemate Casey Cizikas won a battle behind the net and left a perfect backhand pass for Clutterbuck, who one-timed a shot past Lack.

"[Cizikas] gets down there, he's tenacious, and he's got the ability to make the plays when he comes up with the puck," Clutterbuck said. "You can't give him enough credit all year. He's been doing that the balance of the season."

The Islanders and Hurricanes generated good scoring chances in a wide-open overtime. Jordan Staal cut to the net but was denied by Berube. Lack denied consecutive shots by Nielsen. Late in the period, John Tavares tried to set up Cizikas in close, but they couldn't connect.

Video: NYI@CAR: Okposo's spinning shot beats Lack

Finally, Nelson picked up Clutterbuck and delivered a pass from the right-side boards.

"I didn't catch it flush," Clutterbuck said. "It kind of rolled and I pushed it out right. I couldn't really see (because) there was a guy in front of me. I just saw it end up landing behind the goalie."

Carolina has lost in overtime or a shootout four times in the past seven games (1-2-4).

"It's always tough to lose in OT, especially in the last few seconds," Skinner said. "A positive was the way we came out in the second, but something to work on is coming out in the first period a little bit better." 

The Hurricanes complete a back-to-back set when they host the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. The Islanders are off until Tuesday, when they host the Hurricanes.

"We just have to keep winning games," Okposo said. "That's how we're going to do it. We've got to get back to working and grinding it out."

Video: Clutterbuck, Isles top Canes in OT, 4-3

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