All-Star John Tavares’ third four-point night of the season lead the New York Islanders to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night in Raleigh.
Tavares had two goals and two assists, including the game-winner. With 53 points in 49 games this season, Tavares becomes the first Islanders player to score 50-plus points in three straight seasons since Mariusz Czerkawski. He now has 26 points (11g/15a) in his last 15 games.
“It was nice to get a goal back there and put us back ahead and swing the momentum,” Tavares said.
Tavares’ huge night carried over to his teammates as Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo, Mark Streit and PA Parenteau all had multi-point games. Parenteau and Moulson each had a power play goal, as the Isles converted two of their four opportunities. The Islanders had played two games without a single man advantage entering Tuesday’s action.
Call-up goaltender Kevin Poulin earned his first win of the season, stopping 21 of 23 shots, including key saves early in the game including a 2-on-1 late in the first.
“He [Poulin] made some big-time saves, especially against some pretty good hockey players at key moments in the game,” Jack Capuano said. “I thought he played exceptionally well and gave us a chance to win this game tonight.”
The Islanders took a 2-0 lead going into the third before Brandon Sutter ended Poulin’s shutout bid at 3:15 of the third period. Carolina tied the score just over three and a half minutes later, when Tim Brent banked a power play goal off Matt Martin’s skate. The power play goal was only the second one the Isles had conceded over their last 38 kills. The penalty kill went 1-2 on the evening.
Forty-one seconds later, the Islanders caught a big break. Cam Ward misplayed a simple dump-in before Moulson threw it out to a trailing Tavares who made no mistake in one-timing his ninth goal in his last 10 games. Ward stopped 21 of 24 shots before the Islanders scored two on the empty net.
“We showed a pretty good resilience,” Okposo said. “They got a couple quick ones and the next shift we were able to respond.”
The Islanders return home tonight and will participate in the Islanders Children's Foundation Casino Night tommorow. They return to action for back-to-back games starting on Friday night in Ottawa, as they take on the Senators. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.