Streaks were the story Saturday night as the New York Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders are riding a season-high, three-game win streak, John Tavares continued his league-leading 12-game point streak and Evgeni Nabokov won his fourth straight game, the most of any Islander goalie this season.
Tavares scored both Islanders goals, knocking his own rebound out of the air passed Cam Ward in overtime to secure the Islanders first OT win of the season. It was the Islanders fourth-consecutive victory in games that have gone beyond sixty minutes.
“He [Ward] made a good save on my first shot,” Tavares said. “Lucky enough the rebound didn’t go too far, I just stuck with it and I’ll take it. It just squeaked over the line.”
Tavares has scored eight goals and 11 assists during his career-high 12-game scoring streak. It is the longest Islander point streak since Mark Parrish’s 12-game run during the 2000-01 season.
Speaking of streaking, the Isles have won three in a row, and four of their last five games.
“I think we are finding some consistency in our game,” Andrew MacDonald said. “We are getting some excellent goaltending with Nabby and obviously John and his line are certainly doing their part.”
Nabokov had to be sharp early on, as the Canes outshot the Isles 15-9 in the first period. Aside from a Jeff Skinner goal, Nabokov stood his ground on several quality chances, including several Carolina breakaways and early power plays. The Islanders goaltender ended the night with 32 saves.
“Getting through the first period, we could have been down by two or three goals,” Jack Capuano said. “We were real lucky to come out down by a goal. We regrouped in the first intermission, came out and had a pretty good second and third.”
In the second period, the Isles stormed the Canes, flipping the script and outshooting Carolina 23-8. The team played a disciplined final forty minutes, only sending one player to the box. The Islanders have killed 13 straight penalties, another noteworthy streak.
With the win, the Isles move back into 12thplace in the East, eight points behind the eighth-placed Washington Capitals.
“Every game we play now is absolutely huge for us, especially against these teams,” Tavares said. “[These are] Conference teams that we are battling in position with. We are still fighting hard and we still believe in here, we are really coming together.”
The Islanders head to Toronto for a home and home series against the Maple Leafs starting on Monday at 7 p.m. They come back to finish the series Tuesday at the Coliseum.
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