Islanders Can’t Weather the Storm in 7-2 loss to Carolina

New York, NY - The New York Islanders (4-6-2) had some overall team woes in the 7-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes (6-6-0) in hockey action on Wednesday night. Lack of offensive pressure along with no grit on defense allowed for a very talented Carolina team to skate away with the victory.

It had seemed as if in the first period of play the Islanders were able to establish an identity and a presence as Zenon Konopka dropped the gloves for his seventh fight of this season against Jay Harrison at the 15:14 mark. Michael Grabner made a nice backhanded shot that was just wide of the Carolina net.

From that moment on the Hurricanes were able to take all momentum away starting with a Joe Corvo shot at the 10:12 mark of the first period which was set up by Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose. Corvo was able to scorch a slap-shot at the blue line. This was also when a miscommunication in the Islanders defensive zone as John Tavares kept Islanders keeper Rick DiPietro from getting back into the net in time to try to make a proper save.

Jon Matsumoto made things 2-0 at the 15:48 mark on his first NHL goal as he was able to tip-in a sweet assist from Sergei Samsonov, who was turning back the clock with his performance tonight. Samsonov also assisted on the Eric Staal goal at the 18:51 mark which made the score 3-0 in favor of the Hurricanes.

For Samsonov, who was playing on the Hurricanes fourth line was a man on a mission in the game, giving the Islanders defense headaches with his sweet moves. Carolina scored twice more in the second period as Brandon Sutter and Jiri Tlusty made it 5-0. For Tlusty it was his first goal since December 11, 2009.

The Islanders who had showed no grit on either end of the zone up until the 2:12 mark of the third period when finally Michael Grabner put in a slap shot which was assisted by Doug Weight and Bruno Gervais. Sadly for the Islanders fans the offensive momentum went back to the Hurricanes as Jeff Skinner netted the sixth goal on the strength of a power play at the 10:09 mark.

For the fans of the Islanders they had a second chance to see a gritty hard working play result in a goal as P.A. Parenteau got the second goal netting a wrister which was set up by Blake Comeau and the returning Rob Schremp at the 15:29 mark. The Hurricanes offense was just too much though on this night as Jon Matsumoto netted his second career NHL goal to cap of the eventual 7-2 victory.

The Islanders were able to out shoot Carolina by the tally of 33-32 and was able to have more blocked shots by a tally of 15-14, but the Hurricanes were just able to keep the Islanders from truly getting into their blue collar, grind it out mode which has made them successful so far this season.

In the cage Cam Ward made 31 saves in the net, while on the other end Rick DiPietro made 25 stops in a very tough outing for the Islanders.

There will be no rest for the weary Islanders as they head to Ottawa for a 7:30 p.m. Thursday night face-off against the Senators.

Also see: Rob McGowan on Rob Schremp's return