A 60-minute game boiled down to a 20-minute period Saturday night at the Coliseum, as the Hurricanes scored three times in the second period to down the Islanders, 3-0.
Any concerns that the physical play in Friday night's game would carry over to Saturday were not justified in the early going, as the two teams skated through 15 minutes with barely a check, and just one penalty, a hooking call on Carolina's Erik Cole. It would be one of two powerplays the Islanders would receive in the first, neither of which was converted for a goal.
There were several good scoring chances, including a bad-angle shot by Jeff Hamilton and a few late rushes by the Hurricanes, but Carolina's Martin Gerber and New York's Wade Dubielewicz, making a second-straight start, were equal to the 15 shots they faced, combined.
A quiet first period for both teams gave way to a second stanza that saw Carolina strike for a trio of goals, twice converting on the powerplay.
The second period saw the Islanders struggle with the same problems seen in the previous game. A penalty to Arron Asham gave the Hurricanes the five seconds they needed to grab a 1-0 lead. Taking the puck in the corner of the Islanders' zone, Janne Niinimaa attempted a clear behind Dubielewicz' net, but instead put it on Justin Williams' stick. A flick to the wrists, and Rod Brind'Amour had the puck in front of the goal, and went forehand to backhand before roofing it over the Islanders' goalie.
A few minutes later, a mirror-reverse of the first goal made it 2-0, only this time it was Carolina's Chad LaRose starting things off in the corner. A pass from LaRose to Matt Cullen was banked quickly to Ray Whitney in front for a one-timer that gave the Hurricanes a two-goal lead.
Another penalty to the Islanders resulted in another quick goal by Carolina, this time off the stick of Cory Stillman. 17 seconds after Janne Niinimaa was whistled for tripping, Stillman tipped a wrister from the point by Andrew Hutchinson through the legs of Dubielewicz. Despite trailing the Hurricanes by three goals, the Islanders held an edge in shots at the end of 40 minutes, but couldn't beat Gerber in the Carolina crease.
The third period was something of a repeat of the first, as neither team was able to muster much momentum, though Shawn Bates had a near-breakaway that was killed from behind, and Dubielewicz was solid in stopping nine shots.
OFF THE ICE: Three Stars of the Night: 1. Martin Gerber, 2. Rod Brind'Amour, 3. Justin Williams ... For the Islanders, Rick DiPietro (knee), Garth Snow (knee), Jason Blake (ribs), Kevin Colley (knee), Petteri Nokelainen (knee) and Eric Godard (suspension) were scratched, while the Hurricanes sat Glen Wesley (knee), Andrew Ladd (knee), Josef Vasicek (knee) and Niclas Nordgren (healthy)... Mark Parrish's next point will be his 200th as an Islander... After the homecoming that was the Islanders-Panthers game, there's not a single player whose been a part of both organizations in Saturday's game... Following Friday night's loss, the Islanders enter game three of the season series with Carolina tied at one each. The Islanders took the first meeting, at the Coliseum, 3-2, on goals by Shawn Bates, Jason Blake and Miroslav Satan.
--additional reporting by Brian Bohl
Steve Stirling on the turning point of the game:
"We had a good first period, but we had two mental mistakes (in the second). We gave up one goal because of a mistake down low and another after winning the faceoff and turning it over. We did have our chances, but those two mistakes were hurtful. The penalties were more out of frustrating than anything else."
On preparing for the next game against the Predators on Tuesday:
"We just have to watch the tape tonight, see the mistakes and what you can correct and get back at it on Monday and try to work harder. I think we need a day off. Playing four games this week, the guys need a day to regroup on their own and comeback on Monday with lots of skating and (defensive) zone coverage."
(12) Oleg Kvasha-(79) Alexei Yashin-(45) Arron Asham
(81) Miroslav Satan-(16) Mike York-(7) Trent Hunter
(37) Mark Parrish-(17) Shawn Bates-(18) Jeff Hamilton
(11) Mattias Weinhandl-(8) Tomi Pettinen
(77) Alexei Zhitnik-(44) Janne Niinimaa
(3) Brent Sopel-(25) Brad Lukowich
(14) Chris Campoli-(24) Radek Martinek
(34) Wade Dubielewicz
(60) Frederic Cloutier
(61) Cory Stillman-(12) Eric Staal-(26) Erik Cole
(27) Craig Adams-(17) Rod Brind'Amour-(11) Justin Williams
(13) Ray Whitney-(8) Matt Cullen-(59) Chad Larose
(44) Niklas Nordgren-(14) Kevyn Adams-(36) Jesse Boulerice
(4) Aaron Ward-(6) Bret Hedican
(70) Oleg Tverdovsky-(5) Frantisek Kaberle
(7) Niclas Wallin-(22) Mike Commodore
(24) Andrew Hutchinson
(29) Martin Gerber
(30) Cam Ward