The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their first preseason win Saturday, scoring three times in the third period to stop the New York Islanders 5-3 at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Jeff Skinner scored twice for the Canes (1-2), getting the winner with 2:25 left in the third. Skinner, who has three preseason goals in his two games, also had a goal in the three-on-three exhibition overtime period.
Joakim Nordstrom and Eric Staal scored for the Canes, who added a late empty-netter from Victor Rask.
“I thought Jeff Skinner was hard on pucks in the offensive zone and got rewarded for it,” Canes coach Bill Peters said. “I thought he got better as the game went along. He needs to have a good preseason and carry that in the regular season.
“I know he was disappointed in the way the season ended last year. He's come back in great shape and he’s committed, and he's scored his goals so far right around the blue paint, the same place he scored in his rookie year. I like the fact he’s going to the net and staying at the net.”
Eddie Lack started in net for the Canes, stopping 14 of 16 shots, and was replaced by Drew MacIntyre midway through the second period. MacIntyre was the winner.
Defenseman Noah Hanifin, Carolina’s first-round draft pick this year, had two assists in regulation and also assisted on Skinner’s goal in the OT.
“He was real solid,” Peters said. “He skated the puck when he needed to skate it and moved it at the right time. He had good pace to his game.”
John Tavares scored an early goal for the Isles but the Canes forced a 2-2 tie after the opening period as Nordstrom and Skinner scored. It was 2-2 after two periods, and the Canes rallied after the Islanders took a 3-2 lead in the third as Staal tipped in a Ron Hainsey shot and Skinner scored the go-ahead goal.
“I thought guys dug in and worked,” Peters said. “So a step in the right direction. A good step but we need to get the power play going. We've played three times and haven't scored on it. But tonight, the things we wanted to focus on I thought we did a good job on.”