Isles Can't Hold Lead, Fall To The Hurricanes 4-2

Looking to extend a two-game win streak, the New York Islanders began a 7-game home stretch on Sunday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the Isles gave up a two-goal lead and were defeated 4-2.

Already winning two games last season against the Canes, the Isles started backup goaltender Kevin Poulin in net. After waiving and ultimately sending Rick DiPietro down to the Bridgeport Soundtigers, the Isles called up Poulin to indefinitely serve as backup to Evgeni Nabakov.

The Islanders would get on the board early in the first period.

Brad Boyes managed to slip past his defender in the corner, where he found Moulson in front of the net to wrist one just through Cam Ward. John Tavares had the secondary assist on the goal.

New York’s disturbingly efficient first line would strike again past the halfway mark of the period. Matt Moulson chipped the puck of the boards to send Tavares and Boyes on a 2-1 rush, where Tavares roofed one high from the left circle for his league-tying 13th goal of the season.

Despite the Islander’s 2-0 lead, the Hurricanes outshot the Isles 14-5 in the first period. The second period would be almost the exact opposite.

After Matt Martin took an interference penalty, the Canes converted on a power play opportunity. Four seconds after the first faceoff, Alexander Semin fired one off Poulin that was whacked out of mid-air and into the net by Eric Staal.

Less than a minute later, Eric’s brother Jordan would be the culprit. Jordan took a shot high in the zone, which deflected off Lubomir Visnovsky and over the shoulder of Kevin Poulin.

With the game tied at 2-2, the Isles seemed to have lost any momentum they might have had coming into the game. Despite outshooting the Canes 14-4 in the second, they evidently slowed the pace heading to the third.

The Hurricanes would take the lead around halfway through the third period. Bobby Sanguinetti scored his first NHL goal when he was fed coming up the middle and shot the puck high over Poulin’s reach.

The Islanders did not have an answer for the rest of the game. Alexander Semin would notch his third point of the game with an empty netter.

The story of Sunday night’s game was a little too familiar for the Islanders.

In the last meeting between the two on February 11, the Islanders were defeated after giving up the lead in the third period. Despite scoring four power play goals, the Islanders just couldn’t keep it together.

The Islanders, who have the worst home record in the NHL (2-7-0), will play their next 6 games at the Nassau Coliseum. If this team has any hopes of making the playoffs this year, the Isles need to be way sharper than they have been, especially in front of their own fans.

The Isles will next face the Boston Bruins on Tuesday 2/26 at 7pm.

-TJ Weber

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