|NYI||1||3||2||(0 - 0)||6|
|CAR||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
Instead of savoring their best winning streak since October, the Carolina Hurricanes head into the All-Star break on yet another downer.
The Canes allowed three shorthanded goals – two on the same second-period power play – to fall to the New York Islanders 6-3 to break any momentum the club may have gained within the last week.
Carolina still can lay claim to first place in the Southeast Division, but a .500 record heading into the six-day break is not what this club expected with 30 games left after a red-hot start.
“If we want to do what we want to do this year we’re going to have to start playing more consistently,” said Mike Commodore.
That’s an understatement for a team that hasn’t been able to string together three wins in a row since Oct. 9-13.
“This is a bitter taste in our mouth,” said Matt Cullen. “This is a tough one to let get away, but we’re in a dogfight in the Southeast so we can’t spend any time feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to take advantage of this time to rest and we’ve got to come back and play good hockey. It’s not fun sitting on something like this but we’ve got to respond.”
Cullen’s unassisted goal – his first since Dec. 15 – early in the third gave the Canes hope they could rally for the second time in as many nights against the Islanders.
But after a series of failed power plays with numerous chances to score, the Islanders closed out the game when Brandan Witt scored on an odd-man rush with 2:35 left. New York added an empty-net goal about a minute later as back-up goalie Wade Dubielewicz was able to fend off Carolina’s season-high 47 shots to beat the Canes for the second time in less than a month.
New York’s six goals matched a season-high, also attained in the season opener against Buffalo.
“Our second periods have been terrible – especially here,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’ve given up too much at the start. This one was no different. We came and took a penalty right away and then gave up goals.”
The Canes allowed four goals against the Islanders in the second period in a 4-1 RBC Center loss on New Year’s Eve. This second period took on a different negative twist as Carolina not only failed to take advantage of several power plays, but allowed a pair of shorthanded goals 45 seconds apart and three goals in all in a span of three minutes to go down by three.
The Canes have now allowed 10 shorthanded goals, most in the NHL.
Carolina gained a bit of momentum following a disastrous opening 15 minutes of the period when Commodore blasted one past Dubielewicz from just inside the blue line. But less than a minute later Commodore took a holding penalty, and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing the call and the Canes were shorthanded for the rest of the period and trailed 4-2 after two.
“You can’t give up three shorthanded goals and expect to win a game,” Commodore said. “The odd one once in a while is going to happen, but three in a game is unacceptable. Those are supposed to be opportunities for us to score.”
“That just can’t happen,” added Eric Staal. “It cost us big time.”
There was plenty of action on Carolina’s second power play of the first period. The Islanders took a 1-0 lead 21 seconds into the penalty when three Canes converged on a New York player behind the net and left Mike Sillinger all alone in front of Ward. Late in the power play, the Canes tied it up when Staal deflected a Cory Stillman shot off the heel of his stick past Dubielewicz for his team-leading 27th of the season.
“We’re pretty healthy right now,” Laviolette said. “There are no excuses here. If you’re looking to blame it on injuries or sickness those days are gone. We needed to execute better tonight and we didn’t do it.”
NOTES: Stillman’s assist on the first Carolina goal was his 100th with the Canes. … Carolina has scored at least one power play goal in five straight games. That’s the second-best streak of the season behind a seven-game string in October. … Staal has 11 goals in the last 16 games. … Carolina last allowed three shorthanded goals in a game in April 1995 against Buffalo. … Rod Brind’Amour’s five-game point streak ended while Staal extended his to five games with his goal. … The Canes registered more than 40 shots for the sixth time this season. … The two teams split the four-game series, with each winning two road games.
|SHG - Mike Sillinger (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Trent Hunter (17), Radek Martinek (9)|
1 - 0 NYI
|PPG - Eric Staal (27) Deflected shot - ASST: Cory Stillman (23), Ray Whitney (26)|
1 - 1 Tie
|SHG - Richard Park (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Radek Martinek (10)|
2 - 1 NYI
|SHG - Mike Sillinger (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Trent Hunter (18)|
3 - 1 NYI
|Sean Bergenheim (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Miroslav Satan (16), Bruno Gervais (13)|
4 - 1 NYI
|Mike Commodore (3) Slapshot - ASST: NONE|
4 - 2 NYI
|Matt Cullen (9) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
4 - 3 NYI
|Brendan Witt (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Blake Comeau (4)|
5 - 3 NYI
|EN - Blake Comeau (3) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
6 - 3 NYI
|Miroslav Satan Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Andy Sutton Hi-sticking against Eric Staal|
|Scott Walker Hooking against Sean Bergenheim|
|Blake Comeau Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Mike Commodore Hooking against Tim Jackman|
|Blake Comeau Too many men/ice - bench|
|Brendan Witt Hooking against Wade Brookbank|
|Mike Sillinger Hooking against Matt Cullen|
|Mike Commodore Holding against Sean Bergenheim|
|Mike Commodore Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Bret Hedican Hi-sticking against Richard Park|
|Marc-Andre Bergeron Hooking against Ray Whitney|
|Miroslav Satan Hooking against Niclas Wallin|
|SA: 47||TOI: 59:55|
|Saves: 44||EV: 30 - 32|
|PIM: 0||PP: 12 - 13|
|SV%: .936||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 30||TOI: 59:08|
|Saves: 25||EV: 10 - 12|
|PIM: 0||PP: 9 - 9|
|SV%: .833||SH: 6 - 9|