So much for the New York Islanders taking advantage of a four-game homestand.
Jiri Tlusty scored twice and Cam Ward made 22 saves to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory against the Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.
Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes (4-2-3), who moved three points ahead of the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division standings. Carolina is 21-5-5 in the past 31 games against the Islanders and 10-1-2 in its past 13 visits to the Coliseum.
"We took some questionable penalties in the third that put us in a position that we don't want to be in late," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "But other than that, I thought we had a good effort."
Matt Moulson , Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders (3-3-2), who are 1-1-1 on a homestand that concludes Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 19 of 23 shots in his third straight start and seventh in eight games this season.
"We didn't deserve the game," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We didn't start the game the way we needed to start. You watch the replay of the goals, just lack of effort on a few of them. You don't expect that out of individuals."
After a scoreless first period, Carolina found its offense in the second with three goals in a span of 12:32.
Tlusty gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 1:05 with his first goal of the season. With the teams at even strength,Alexander Semin sent the puck towards the net from the right circle that Eric Staal was unable to redirect the puck past Nabokov. But Tlusty followed the play, collected the loose puck in front of the net and quickly fired it home.
Jordan Staal doubled Carolina's lead with his first goal of the season via the power play at 6:36. With Isles defenseman Andrew MacDonald in the box for interference, Staal took a nice cross-ice feed from the right point by Ryan Murphy and ripped a wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Nabokov to make it 2-0.
"We've got to play a full 60 minutes," MacDonald said. "There wasn't enough urgency early. We were kind of standing around a little bit too much and we got burnt a few times. It's unacceptable."
Skinner made it 3-0 at 13:37 on another even-strength goal. After Islanders defensemanTravis Hamonic failed to clear the zone, Tuomo Ruutu found Skinner in the slot, and the gifted forward backhanded a shot past Nabokov for his third goal of the season.
Moulson got the Islanders on the scoreboard with a power-play goal at 18:53. After Skinner was whistled for high sticking, MacDonald fired a slap shot from the right point that was denied by Cam Ward. But Moulson parked himself in front of the net and was able to swat the rebound past the Hurricanes' goaltender to make it 3-1. It was Moulson's third goal of the season.
The Islanders had a scare midway through the second when Nabokov collided with sliding teammate Matt Carkner in the crease. Nabokov was face down for several minutes and was attended to by a trainer before he slowly got to his feet and stayed in the game.
The Hurricanes regained their three-goal lead 11:06 into the third period on Tlusty's second goal of the game. With the teams at even strength, Tlusty hustled to join a rush and one-timed Semin's feed through Nabokov's legs to make it 4-1. It was Tlusty's sixth goal in 16 career games against the Islanders.
Nielsen got the Islanders back within two goals with a power-play goal at 13:19 of the third. With Skinner in the box for hooking, Okposo found Nielsen near the right post, where he quickly swatted Okposo's feed past Ward to make it 4-2. Nielsen has four goals in eight games.
Okposo made it a one-goal game with 1:01 remaining. Just after a penalty to Justin Faulk expired, Pierre-Marc Bouchard made a drop pass in the slot to Okposo, who ripped a wrist shot past Ward to make it 4-3. But the Islanders couldn't find the equalizer.
"We did some better things in the third," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "But the urgency, competition level and good habits that make things tough on the other team have to be there right from the get-go."
New York played the final two periods without defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who suffered a concussion after being hit along the boards by Hurricanes forward Radek Dvorak. The injury left the Islanders with five defensemen for the remainder of the game. Visnovsky will be re-evaluated Sunday.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report