Islanders lose but get playoff spot

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 24, 2013
The New York Islanders clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite a 4-3 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. With the point they received by reaching overtime, coupled with a loss by the Winnipeg Jets at Washington, the Islanders secured a place in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. John Tavares tied it with 1:01 left in regulation. Josh Bailey and Brad Boyes also scored, and Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves for the Islanders. Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner scored in the shootout to give the Hurricanes the victory. Carolina's Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist, Patrick Dwyer and Alexander Semin added goals, and Dan Ellis made 36 saves before stopping Frans Nielsen and Boyes in the shootout. Nash and Skinner beat Nabokov with wrist shots in the shootout to help the Hurricanes sweep the Islanders and earn their first consecutive wins since March 9-12. The Islanders earned a point for the 11th straight game. New York wiped out three one-goal deficits, and the last came in dramatic fashion. Tavares made it 3-3 when his shot clicked off Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk's skate and past Ellis. The goal originally was awarded to Kyle Okposo, but after a review, he never touched the puck. Okposo finished with two assists. Before that, the Hurricanes thought their third victory over the Islanders was firmly in hand. Carolina went up 3-2 with 2:15 left in the second when Dwyer snapped a loose puck past Nabokov. Staal and Semin also gave the Hurricanes short-lived leads. Staal made it 2-1 by scoring on a redirection with 3:40 left in the first, and Semin scored the first goal off a pretty give-and-go-feed from Eric Staal. But Bailey and Boyes each erased those deficits. Bailey's goal came on a rebound and made it 2-2 at 7:34 of the second. Boyes forged the first tie at 6:04 of the first when Mark Streit's cross-ice pass clicked off his skate and past Ellis. NOTES: New York C Keith Aucoin hit the crossbar on a breakaway about 4 1/2 minutes in. Michael Grabner struck the right post with about 3 minutes left in overtime. ... Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu drilled the right post against an open net with about 12 1/2 minutes left. ... Hurricanes C Jiri Tlusty, who assisted on Staal's goal, has points in six straight games. --- Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at (at)JoedyAP.
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