UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Manny Malhotra, Jordan Staal and Brett Sutter have scored in the second period as the Canes have surged to a 3-1 lead after two.
A big concern for the Canes was that captain Eric Staal left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. It was announced Staal would not return to the game.
Malhotra gave the Canes a 1-0 lead with his third goal in the past three games. Pat Dwyer, who had two assists in the period and may have been the Canes' most active forward, turned a takeaway into a pass to Malhotra for the score.
John Tavares countered for the Isles 44 seconds later for a 1-1 tie. Thomas Vanek picked off a pass by Drayson Bowman in the Canes zone and got the puck to Tavares, who beat Anton Khudobin with a backhand-to-forehand move.
But the Canes then scored two goals in a span of 57 seconds to recapture the lead.
Dwyer made a quick pass off the left boards to Staal between the circles and Staal ripped a shot past Evgeni Nabokov for his ninth goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.
Sutter then picked up his first goal of the season. Nabokov stopped a shot by Skinner from the left circle but Sutter, who had just made a line change, backhanded in the rebound.
It was the second career goal for Sutter, whose first goal came in December 2008.
The Canes and Islanders were scoreless after the first period, although the Isles had the better scoring chances.
Neither team could establish much of an offensive flow, but Isles had 10 shots and tested Khudobin.
Michael Grabner had an early look and later was open on the backdoor but broke his stick trying to knock in a pass. Tavares had a partial breakaway but defenseman Ron Hainsey recovered well enough to get a piece of the puck as Tavares attempted to shoot.
Ryan Strome got off a heavy shot during an Isles power play, but Khudobin made the stop.
The most exciting moment in the first may have come with 6:26 left in the period when the Isles' Matt Martin rammed Canes defenseman Ryan Murphy in the boards. A scuffle ensued and the Canes' Eric Staal, who quickly jumped in to defend Murphy, was called for the only penalty for roughing.
The Canes made one line change from the morning skate as Tuomo Ruutu was moved to Jordan Staal's line and Dwyer to Malhotra's right wing. That changed again after a few shifts in the first.