Islanders 4, Hurricanes 3, SO

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 03, 2012
Frans Nielsen scored the deciding goal in a shootout, and the New York Islanders earned their third straight win by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's bottom two teams. Kyle Okposo scored with 1:30 remaining to send the game into overtime, and John Tavares had three assists for the Islanders (14-17-6), who matched their best winning streak of the season. Evgeni Nabokov made 37 saves. Chad LaRose, Brandon Sutter and Anthony Stewart scored for Carolina (13-21-7), and Cam Ward made 33 saves. After Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau and Carolina's Jussi Jokinen traded goals to start the shootout, Nielsen skated in and shifted to his backhand to beat Ward. LaRose gave Carolina a 3-2 lead with 4:14 left in regulation. LaRose skated out from the corner with the puck and met little resistance as he got closer to the net. He slid the puck along the ice and past Nabokov's left pad. The Islanders tied it with 90 seconds remaining when Tavares made a perfect pass to Okposo, who was standing alone beside the Hurricanes net. Despite their records, both teams have had reasons for optimism recently. The Hurricanes had won three straight at home, their best streak there since last March. The Islanders were 6-6-2 in December before beating Carolina in their first game of the new year. New York took a 1-0 lead less than 4 minutes in when Matt Moulson finished a nice passing play from Tavares and Nielsen. With the Islanders on the power play, Tavares centered the puck from behind the net to Moulson, who snapped the puck past Ward's blocker. Carolina answered 31 seconds later when Stewart tipped Jay Harrison's shot past Nabokov. The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead when Nabokov held onto the puck too long behind the Islanders net. Drayson Bowman stole the puck from the unsuspecting Nabokov and shoveled it out to Sutter, who was standing in the crease for a shot into a wide-open net. The Islanders tied it early in the third period on the power play when Mark Streit took a shot from the point. That shot sailed wide of the net, but the rebound bounced off the boards to Nielsen, who had little trouble smacking the puck into the net with Ward out of position. Carolina was 10-1-2 this season when leading after two periods, and the Islanders won for the first time when trailing after 40 minutes (1-15-2). NOTES: Carolina swept the season series between the teams last season, outscoring the Islanders 18-8. . The Hurricanes announced that D Joni Pitkanen will miss four weeks following surgery on his left knee.
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