Home was not very sweet Saturday night for the Islanders, as they fell to the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1, extending their losing streak to seven games.
"We need wins desperately," Matt Moulson said afterwards. "It's frustrating not to get them when we need them especially when youre working hard."
Carolina struck first in the opening period to take the lead.
Jussi Jokinen got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard first with 5:28 left in the opening period for his 20th goal of the season. The play evolved as Joni Pitkanen drove down the boards deep into the Islanders zone and attempted to send a centering pass to a teammate.
Andrew MacDonald deflected Pitkanens pass with his stick, leaving errant pass to come out in front of the crease to Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro. Unfortunately, for DiPietro, he paddled the loose puck right on the stick of Jussi Jokinen who fired it past the unsuspecting Islanders goaltender for a 1-0 Carolina lead.
The Islanders had thought they had evened things up with Carolina less than two minutes into the second period on the power play. As Carolina goaltender Justin Peters was trying to cover a loose puck, Moulson kept poking away. However, just prior to the puck crossing the goal line, referee Eric Furlatt blew the play dead denying Moulson of his 22nd goal.
"We had some bad breaks, obviously with Matt's (no goal)," John Tavares said. "That puck's loose and he jams it in there. Its a tough call for the referee."
Eight minutes later, the Islanders would finally get the goal they needed, this time not on the power play, but while shorthanded.
Frans Nielsen would be the beneficiary of a strong shorthanded forecheck by Blake Comeau, scoring his eighth goal of the season. Comeau forechecked hard on Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen, forcing the hurricane to turn the puck over. As Comeau gained control, he caught Nielsen driving hard toward the slot and fed it over to the dashing Dane who one-timed it past Peters to even things up, 1-1.
It would end up being the only goal the Islanders could muster up.
"We're having trouble to score goals, we just need to find ways to put them in the net," Tavares said. "We're holding our sticks too tight. We need a little more life and a little more urgency, especially with how important these games are."
Carolina would take the lead right back with 4:24 left in the second period on Patrick Dwyers fourth goal of the season. Brandon Sutter attempted to wrap the puck around the Islanders net in an attempt to catch DiPietro off-guard. However, the puck deflected off the sliding DiPietro out towards the slot, where Dwyer pounced on the loose rebound and put it behind the goal line to give Carolina a 2-1 lead.
As the third period wound down and DiPietro halfway to the Islanders bench in favor of an extra attacker, Pitkanen would add an insurance marker to extend Carolinas lead to 3-1.
The Islanders hope to get back on the winning track on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. as they host the Nashville Predators.
Slapshots: Islanders outshot Carolina, 35-25...Andrew MacDonald led all Islanders with 28:15 of ice time...Frans Nielsen led all Islanders with 6 shots on goal...Islanders were 0-5 on the power pay, while Carolina was unsuccessful on four opportunities...Josh Bailey (upper body) was the lone Islanders scratch...This was the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season; both teams split the season series by taking two games apiece...Islanders now have an all-time record of 46-53-10 against the Hurricanes.