19 March 2011
The Islanders struggles against Carolina this season continued last night with a 3-2 loss in overtime.
New York came in having lost the first two meetings against the Hurricanes this season and were looking to end that streak.
Carolina got on the board first at 16:33 of the first period when the young Jeff Skinner scored his 25th goal of the season. But a little over a minute later and the Islanders' Frans Nielsen scored his tenth of the year to tie it up at one after 20 minutes of play.
Michael Grabner scored his 29th goal of the year at 3:10 of the second period to give the Islanders their first lead of the game. That would be the only tally in the middle period and New York held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Carolina, desperate for points to get back into the top eight, fought hard in the third period and were finally rewarded with a goal with under five minutes left when Erik Cole scored his 20th goal and sent the game to overtime.
Then in the extra frame, Carolina had an unlikely hero in Joni Pitkanen when he scored only his third goal of the year and gave the Hurricanes that all important second point.
The Islanders out shot Carolina 37-35.
New York continues their five game road trip tonight when they travel further south to take on the fledgling Florida Panthers. Florida has 67 points in 71 games compared to that of the Islanders who have 66 points in 72 games.
This is the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs this season. The Panthers posted victories of 4-3 and 4-1 in the first two match ups before the Islanders won the most recent game 5-1.
Both of these teams are likely headed for the draft lottery and tonight's game will play a role as they jostle for positioning in the bottom of the Conference and the NHL.
Tonight's game is at 7pm.
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