Hurricanes 4, Islanders 2

Sanguinetti goal stops Canes’ skid

Associated PressFebruary 25, 2013 

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Playing in his first game of the season, Kevin Poulin, center, tends the New York Islanders' net during the first period Feb. 24, 2013, against the Carolina Hurricanes at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

BRUCE BENNETT — Getty

— Bobby Sanguinetti waited quite a while for his first NHL goal, but it came at a perfect time for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Sanguinetti, a 24-year-old defenseman, snapped a tie midway through the third period, and the Hurricanes rallied to beat the inconsistent New York Islanders 4-2 and snap a three-game losing streak Sunday night.

Sanguinetti, a first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2006, fired a snap shot from the top of the right circle over the glove hand of goalie Kevin Poulin at 10 minutes, 17 seconds.

Sanguinetti, who has battled injuries throughout his career, had just one assist in 20 NHL games before Sunday. He has played most of the past three seasons with AHL Charlotte.

“That was a feeling I can’t even describe right now,” said Sanguinetti as he tucked the puck into his red Hurricanes equipment bag. “To finally score in the NHL and have it be a game winner is incredible. And I’m glad I scored it in New York.”

The Hurricanes are happy, too, as their injury-hampered squad was able to win for the second time on Long Island in 13 days. Carolina was without injured defenseman Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason as well as Jeff Skinner, its second-leading scorer who is out with a concussion.

“This was a good win because we didn’t quit and played a solid third period,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. “I feel great for Bobby because tonight was his strongest game for us yet. He’s a good skilled player who moves the puck well, and he was solid on both ends of the ice.”

Alexander Semin had two assists and completed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left.

John Tavares and Matt Moulson had given the Islanders a 2-0 lead midway through the first period, and New York seemed on its way to a third straight victory.

But Eric and Jordan Staal scored 45 seconds apart late in the second period to tie it at 2.

The Hurricanes (9-7-1) had only two shots on goal through most of a listless second period, before Eric Staal scored his team-leading ninth goal on a power play at 18:28.

The Carolina captain knocked the puck out of midair with his stick past Poulin, who was making his first start of the season after being recalled Saturday from AHL Bridgeport.

Just 45 seconds later, Jordan Staal tied it 2-2 with his fourth of the season. His snap shot from between the circles beat a screened Poulin.

“The first goal on the power play was a big one,” Eric Staal said. “Then to have Jordan tie it right away was also huge.”

Sanguinetti’s goal was an NHL-leading 34th in the third period for Carolina.

The Islanders (8-10-1) continued to struggle at home, where they are an NHL-worst 2-7.

Tavares scored his 13th goal – sharing the league lead with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos – off an assist from Moulson at 12:25. The speedy center swept down the left side before whipping the puck over the left shoulder of goalie Cam Ward.

Tavares and Moulson have combined for 23 goals, the most of any NHL teammates this season.

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