|NYI||3||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||4|
|CAR||0||2||1||0||(0 - 0)||3|
The winless streak for the Carolina Hurricanes painfully inched to 14 straight Friday night against the New York Islanders. That’s the bad news.
On the opposite front, Carolina scored three goals for the first time in three weeks, got some timely goaltending by Manny Legace and didn’t hang their heads after spotting the Islanders three first-period goals in a 4-3 overtime loss.
“It’s a good feeling that our team is still in the fight and can at least block out mentally the hole we’re in and stay in the fight,” coach Paul Maurice said. “That still allows you to come to the rink tomorrow.”
“You can see how close we are. It’s just a matter of a bounce or two,” added Brandon Sutter, who had two assists for his first two-point game in the NHL.
Down 3-0 less than 14 minutes in, the Canes stormed back and tied the game with 2:31 left in regulation when first-period goat Tim Gleason turned into hero when his wrist shot from the side boards somehow got past Martin Biron on the short side.
With a point guaranteed heading into overtime for the first time in seven games, the Canes couldn’t pull out their first victory since Oct. 9 when rookie Bryan Rodney turned over the puck, which led to Kyle Okposo’s game-winner with 14.4 seconds left in OT.
Just moments earlier, Rodney came close to winning it for Carolina when he took a centering pass from Tuomo Ruutu, who was all over the ice in this one, in the slot and was stopped on a stellar save by Biron.
“It’s a tough one to take because obviously the mistake I made there at the end cost us,” Rodney said. “To do that to the rest of the guys in the room is tough to swallow right now, but I guess we’ll look at the positive because we fought hard to get back into the game and we earned a point.”
Maurice said he doesn’t fault his young defenseman for surrendering the puck in the waning moments of OT.
“It’s unfair that the puck comes off Bryan Rodney’s stick,” Maurice said. “I thought he was fantastic and we’ll make sure we get to him tomorrow and explain that there has to be some risk in his game because he’s capable of making plays. We don’t want that to be the last thing that he remembers about that game. We got back into it because of him.”
After falling behind 3-0, the Canes knifed into the New York lead over a span of 2:25 midway through the second as Ruutu notched Carolina’s first power-play goal in six games, while Ray Whitney followed shortly thereafter with a tip in of an Andrew Alberts point shot.
The two quick goals ignited the crowd and got the Canes skating again as they finished the period with 14 shots on Biron. And Carolina ended the period with a large portion of a four-minute high-sticking penalty to New York’s Blake Comeau spilling over to the third.
However, the Canes squandered that lengthy power-play chance and had to kill off a late holding call against Jussi Jokinen before Gleason scored the game-tying goal as the Canes scored three for the first time since a 5-4 loss at Colorado on Oct. 23.
“It was unbelievable,” goalie Manny Legace said of the Carolina comeback. “It was just hard work and dedication that the boys put into it. We played so great in the second and third after getting some cheesy bounces (against us) in the first. I let the boys down in the first period, but boy did they battle.”
The Islanders scored on two of their first three shots 5:35 into the game, getting goals while Gleason was in the penalty box for roughing up 2009 top draft pick John Tavares and then arguing the call for a double-minor.
“Tim is an honest guy and doesn’t take a lot of stupid penalties, and you can argue which way you want to go on that, but an unsportsmanlike usually doesn’t come that early in a game. There normally is a bit of a lather and not a bake sale going on (before one is called),” Maurice said.
The 19-year-old Tavares scored the first New York power-play goal when he batted the puck out of mid-air when it ricocheted off the glass behind Legace right in front of the cage. The Islanders scored their second man-advantage goal with just four seconds left on Gleason’s second minor.
The Isles then hit iron twice over a seven-minute span before getting their third goal of the period, this time as Aaron Ward’s tripping penalty expired. Tavares was on the spot again, pouncing on a puck during a mad scramble in front of the net to poke it past Legace.
Joe Corvo hit the post with 24 seconds left in what amounted to a second straight miserable start to a home game for the Canes, who had two first-period shots in the opening 20 minutes in a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles on Wednesday, while managing just three in the first period in this one.
“Coach kind of left most of it to us,” Sutter said about the locker room mood after the first period. “He had a few things to say, but we have guys in here who step up and settled us down and got us going.”
NOTES: Ruutu had nine of Carolina’s 48 hits and a team-high six shots. … The Canes have just 11 first-period goals in 18 games and have been shut out in the opening 20 minutes nine times. … Carolina has allowed at least one power-play goal in eight of its last 10. … Joni Pitkanen returned from an illness and logged 29:14 of ice time. ... Carolina has now allowed three of more goals in 11 straight games.
|PPG - John Tavares (6) ASST: Matt Moulson (7), Kyle Okposo (8)|
1 - 0 NYI
|PPG - Mark Streit (4) ASST: Bruno Gervais (3), Richard Park (4)|
2 - 0 NYI
|John Tavares (7) ASST: Trent Hunter (2), Matt Moulson (8)|
3 - 0 NYI
|PPG - Tuomo Ruutu (5) ASST: Brandon Sutter (1), Bryan Rodney (1)|
3 - 1 NYI
|Ray Whitney (5) ASST: Andrew Alberts (3), Aaron Ward (2)|
3 - 2 NYI
|Tim Gleason (2) ASST: Brandon Sutter (2), Chad LaRose (3)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Kyle Okposo (4) ASST: NONE|
4 - 3 NYI
|Tim Gleason Roughing against John Tavares|
|Tim Gleason Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Aaron Ward Tripping against Kyle Okposo|
|Sean Bergenheim Charging against Joe Corvo|
|Jussi Jokinen Interference on goalkeeper against Martin Biron|
|Blake Comeau Holding against Erik Cole|
|Freddy Meyer Holding against Brandon Sutter|
|Blake Comeau Hi stick - double minor against Erik Cole|
|Jussi Jokinen Holding against Matt Moulson|
|Mark Streit Holding against Rod Brind'Amour|
|SA: 28||TOI: 63:46|
|Saves: 25||EV: 22 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 4|
|SV%: .893||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 25||TOI: 64:40|
|Saves: 21||EV: 19 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 3|
|SV%: .840||SH: 1 - 1|