Canes 4, Islanders 3

Posted by Chip Alexander on October 19, 2013 

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nothing like an exciting third period to get the heart pumping faster.

The Canes finished up a week of third-period thrillers on Saturday, holding off the New York Islanders 4-3.

The Canes (4-2-3) got a pair of goals from Jiri Tlusty and Jordan Staal's first goal of the season, and led 4-1 in the third. But the Canes had to outlast the Isles, who scored twice to pull within a goal and used an extra attacker most of the final two minutes.

After a scoreless first period, the Canes bolted to a 3-0 lead in the second before the Isles got a late power-play score.

Tlusty and Staal each scored, and Jeff Skinner made it 3-0 with a nifty backhander. But a high-sticking call against Skinner late in the period resulted in Matt Moulson scoring a power-play goal for the Isles.

Tlusty, who had 23 goals last season, scored on a well-executed rush. Alexander Semin passed from the right wing and Eric Staal got a piece of the puck in the slot as Tlusty swept in from the back side and whipped the puck past Isles goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Jordan Staal then picked up his first of the season on a power play. Defenseman Ryan Murphy made a no-look pass to Staal, who ripped a shot past Nabokov.

Skinner's third of the season came after a Riley Nash steal near the left boards in the Isles zone. Nash pushed the puck to Skinner in the low slot and he backhanded a top-shelf shot.

Tlusty’s second goal came on a two-on-one rush with Semin, Tlusty punching it in with a one-timer. The line of Tlusty, Eric Staal and Semin accounted for six points.

The Isles had a scare -- and the Canes perhaps a flashback -- with 9:08 left in the second. Nabokov was hit by a sliding Isles defenseman and was down on the ice for several moments.

On Thursday, Toronto goalie James Reimer was knocked out of the game against Carolina in the first minute. Nabokov needed a few minutes to shake off the hit but stayed in net.

With 1:26 left in the second, Skinner was called for high-sticking as he jostled with Isles defenseman Matt Carkner in the offensive zone. The Isles scored quickly as Moulson followed up a shot by Andrew MacDonald.

The Isles had a pair of power plays in the first as Kevin Westgarth was called for holding and then Eric Staal for slashing. But the Canes killed off both penalties, limiting the Isles to one shot.

The Canes had few good scoring chances, although Jiri Tlusty did have a good look from between the circles. Taking a pass from Alex Semin, Tlusty was wide with his attempt -- the kind of opening Tlusty, who is yet to score this season, had often last season in scoring 23 goals.

Defenseman Mike Komisarek was given a start and quickly helped goalie Cam Ward. After a Ron Hainsey turnover in the Canes zone, Komisarek got a piece of an open shot by the Isles' Pierre Marc-Bouchard.

The best scoring opportunity for either team in the first came just after the Canes killed off the Westgarth penalty. The Isles' Peter Regin had an open net but hit the outside of the post.

Canes coach Kirk Muller double-shifted Eric Staal in the first, using him to center the fourth line with Radek Dvorak and Drayson Bowman.

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