Peters, Hurricanes shut out NY Islanders 1-0

calexander@newsobserver.comNovember 7, 2013 

— The Carolina Hurricanes scored just one goal Thursday. But in this game, one was enough.

Canes goaltender Justin Peters made 21 saves while shutting out the New York Islanders 1-0 in the Metropolitan Division game at PNC Arena.

Radek Dvorak scored in the first period on a redirection, giving the Hurricanes a rare early lead. The Canes and Isles have had some free-wheeling, high-scoring games in the past, but this was would not be one of them.

“It was a real, good solid effort from everyone,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. “Right now, it’s just finding ways to win games again.”

The Canes (6-7-3) found a way Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, tying the score in the final minute of regulation and winning in overtime on Manny Malhotra’s goal. That ended a five-game losing streak and relieved some fast-growing tension.

On Thursday, the Canes maintained the one-goal lead thanks in large part to Peters, who earned his third career shutout. But it was also about players simply making the plays that needed to be made.

One example was defenseman Brett Bellemore laying a hit on the Isles’ Kyle Okposo in the Carolina zone in the first period as Okposo attempted to get off a shot.

Then defenseman Jay Harrison did the same to Islanders captain John Tavares in the second period, flattening the star forward, and Canes forward Drayson Bowman helped out with a strong backcheck on a New York rush in the second.

“I thought we played a great team game,” Bellemore said. “We did all the little things well, especially in our zone. They’re very good down low and have some active (defensemen) and are good using them to get pucks through.

“The forwards came down and helped out. And ‘Petey’ obviously played phenomenal.”

No Peters save was bigger than the one on the Isles’ Michael Grabner. It came with 44 seconds left in the second period after a Canes turnover enabled Grabner, one of the NHL’s swiftest skaters, to roar down ice with the puck.

“I know how fast he is. He seems like he has a breakaway every game,” Peters said. “I knew he had a lot of speed coming in so I tried to come out and match his speed.”

With Canes forward Alexander Semin backchecking, Peters said Grabner had to make a quicker play than he wanted and Peters got his right pad on the forehand shot.

Peters, making his sixth straight start, made a sharp save on a Thomas Hickey shot off a rebound in the first period and gloved a heavy shot by Tavares in the third. Late in regulation, he snared a shot by Travis Hamonic from the high slot.

“He’s given us a confidence that we can just go out and play our game … and play it the way we want to play it,” Muller said. “He’s done his job and we’ve gotten timely goals the last two games.”

Dvorak’s even-strength goal came six minutes, 39 seconds into the first. Defenseman Ron Hainsey stopped the puck on the blue line, then whipped it toward the net. Dvorak deflected it in front.

Kevin Poulin, in net for the Isles (6-7-3), played well and made 23 saves in the game. But he couldn’t stop that one by Dvorak, who scored his third of the season. The Canes had not scored the first goal in a game since Oct. 19 -- against the Isles.

The Canes kept Tavares and Okposo contained most of the night, limiting each to one shot on net. Defensemen Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera did some heavy work, but so did Bellemore and others in clearing away rebounds and blocking shots whiles the Isles hurt themselves with 23 missed shots.

“They’re skilled guys and if you can get an extra shot on them, get in their head, get your nose dirty with them that’s not their game,” Bellemore said of Tavares and Okposo. “Maybe it will add to the frustration, maybe not.”

Bellemore also dropped the gloves, fighting the Isles’ Matt Martin in the second period. Carolina’s Nathan Gerbe also tangled with Hamonic later and there were other skirmishes.

“I got my nose dirty a little,” Bellemore said, smiling.

But it was that kind of game -- more scrappy than stylistic.

Alexander: 919-829-8945 Twitter: @ice_chip

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service