Tracking the Storm: Analysis
-- The Carolina Hurricanes might not be finding the back of the net too often lately, but one goal was all it took to top the New York Islanders, as the Canes recorded their second straight victory, 1-0. Justin Peters made 21 saves en route to his third career NHL shutout and first since March 12, 2013. “We played a well all-around game, and we’re excited about that,” Jordan Staal said. “When we’re playing the way we can in front of him (Peters) … he makes it look easy after that.”
-- Peters came up with a few key stops throughout the game. In the second, it was a pad stop on Michael Grabner late in the period. In the third, it was a glove save on a John Tavares shot, who’s typically a Canes killer. In his usual humble way, Peters credited the defense in front of him. “Some big blocks, some great plays by the D and the forwards coming back to help, so that’s nice and helps a lot,” he said. “I want to be there for the guys. I want to make the saves when I have to.”
-- Muller on the team’s overall defensive game, as the Canes recorded 13 blocked shots: “I thought the guys really played hard tonight, and I thought we did a really good job of getting in [front] of a lot of shots,” he said. “We gave him (Peters) that opportunity to make that first save, and our D did a good job blocking people out in front of the net, preventing those second and third rebounds.”
-- As Peters continues to receive the nod in net, his confidence continues to grow, as does the team’s confidence in him. “I feel confident, and I feel really confident in this team. I feel really confident in the trust we have in each other, and that’s been building for awhile now,” Peters said. “It’s nice for the guys to get rewarded with the hard work they’re doing, the way they’re playing and the trust we have in each other.”
-- For the first time since Oct. 19 in New York against this same Islanders team, the Canes scored first and played with a lead. Muller mentioned the lack of scoring first as something that hindered the team in their five-game losing stretch, and he said it was a welcome change to be on the other side of the coin for a change. “It’s nice because you don’t have to force stuff,” he said. “We said after the second, they have to be the team now that has to take chances, not us. Let them be high-risk, not us.”
-- Jordan Staal on grabbing the lead early and never relenting: “It was a little almost unusual when we got that first one. It was a good feeling. It looked like we felt comfortable with the lead, as well.”
-- Radek Dvorak got credit for the Canes’ lone tally of the night, as he was in the right place at the right time. A strong forecheck from the fourth line forced the Islanders to throw the puck up the boards. Ron Hainsey made the keep at the blue line and sent a shot in the general direction of the net. It ricocheted off of Dvorak and in. “Right now, it’s just finding ways to win games,” Muller said. “That’s twice now that the fourth line has come up with big goals.”
-- Some random statistics: the Hurricanes are now 22-5-5 in their last 32 games against the Islanders. In their last 21 meetings with New York, the Canes are 15-2-4, and Carolina has earned points in nine of the last 10 meetings between the two teams at PNC Arena (7-1-2).
-- The Canes pulled even with the Islanders in the standings with their second victory over their divisional opponent this season. It’s taken a full team effort to break out of the slump, and though the wins might not be the prettiest, the Canes are being rewarded for the work they’re putting in. As they’ve needed him to be, Peters has been a key part of that. “He’s given us a confidence that we can just go out and play our game,” Muller said. “He’s done his job, and we’ve got timely goals in the last two games.”
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Radek Dvorak's first-period score stood up as the only goal of the game, and goaltender Justin Peters stopped 21 shots to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 1-0 victory against the New York Islanders Thursday night.
The Hurricanes have won two straight after ending a five-game losing streak. Peters earned his third career shutout, playing in his seventh straight game following injuries to Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin.
Peters made a sharp glove save on John Tavares late in third period to preserve the win, Carolina's fifth in a row against New York.
The Islanders have lost the first two games of a four-game trip. They were held to fewer than two goals for the first time this season.
The Hurricanes scored the lone goal at 6:39 into the first period when defenseman Ron Hainsey lifted a wrist shot from the blue line that Dvorak redirected into the net. The change-of-direction goal was the third of the season for Dvorak. It also marked the first stoppage of play in the game.
The early part of the period featured plenty of good looks at the net for the Islanders, but no shots on goal. Carolina blocked six shots and New York missed the net 10 times before recording its first shot on goal. The Islanders finished the period with five shots on 23 attempts.
Neither team could dent the scoreboard in the second period. Carolina held an 11-7 advantage in shots, and both goaltenders gave up some rebounds. However, both defenses cleared away loose pucks, preventing many second chances.
Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore and Islanders forward Matt Martin added some energy to the period with a fight after the two got tangled up behind the net.
Peters had to make a couple tough saves in the second period. He stopped Kyle Okposo's shot from the slot after a centering pass from Tavares, then used his right pad to stop Michael Grabner on a breakaway.
Both teams made call-ups from the American Hockey League before the game. Defenseman Aaron Ness joined the Islanders from Bridgeport, replacing Matt Carkner in the lineup. The Hurricanes called up Chris Terry from Charlotte and sent rookie Elias Lindholm to the AHL.