Hainsey scores in OT to lift Hurricanes past Islanders
NEW YORK (AP) — Ron Hainsey is making a habit this week of scoring game-winning goals, a development the young Carolina Hurricanes will be happy to see continue.
The veteran defenseman scored at 2:21 of the 3-on-3 overtime to lift the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Hainsey also had the game-winner in Carolina’s 3-1 victory at Detroit on Tuesday.
Against the Islanders, Hainsey took a pass from Jordan Staal and slid the puck past New York goalie Thomas Greiss near the midpoint of the extra period for his second of the season.
“Obviously anything can happen 3-on-3. I was trying to beat their backcheckers up the ice. I saw the goalie move a little to the right so I figured if I could get him moving the other way, I’d have a half a chance,” Hainsey said. “It’s probably five years for me between game winners. I’m just happy to get two wins.”
Brock McGinn and Chris Terry scored in regulation and Eddie Lack stopped 17 shots to help Carolina win its second straight to cap a 4-3-0 road trip.
Terry had tied the score with 5:04 left in the third, finishing off a slick passing play with Eric and Jordan Staal. The goal was Terry’s second of the season.
Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, Nick Leddy had two assists, and Greiss finished with 26 saves.
“We weren’t good enough tonight,” Martin said. “Five-on-five we have to play better.”
Both goalies traded glove saves early in the overtime. Lack stopped John Tavares while Greiss denied Jordan Staal. Greiss stopped Jeff Skinner with an arm save before Hainsey scored the winner.
The Islanders lost for just the third time in seven home games (4-1-2) at Barclays Center and moved into a tie with the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
“You’re not going to win every night but we have to bring a better effort,” said Nielsen, who scored a highlight-reel goal to put the Islanders ahead 2-1 with 7:10 left in the second. “Every point is huge.”
Nielsen skated virtually unimpeded from his own blue line, splitting the Hurricanes’ defense and beating Lack with a backhand for his fourth of the season and third in the last two games.
Greiss fell to 3-0-2 for the Islanders, who signed the German-born goaltender as a free agent last summer.
The overtime defeat left Islanders coach Jack Capuano a bit miffed at his team but also giving credit to the Hurricanes.
“They have a good young team, they have a fast team,” Capuano said. “That is one of the better teams that we have played. They deserved the win. But that was our worst execution in a long time. We didn’t manage the puck well.”
Martin opened the scoring for the Islanders, tipping in Leddy’s slap shot at 8:56 of the first for his first of the season.
McGinn tied it with 5:00 left in the first, taking a pass from Jay McClement and beating Greiss for his second goal of the season.
Greiss replaced starter Jaroslav Halak who missed the game with unspecified illness. Islanders forward Ryan Strome also was a late scratch because of illness.
The Islanders outshot the Hurricanes 8-4 in the first while the Hurricanes had a 8-6 shots advantage in the second period. The Hurricanes came alive in the third, outshooting the home team 13-4.
“Clearly our best period was the third,” said Hainsey,′ who has 42 goals in 764 career games. “We did a better job of holding onto the puck in their zone. We know how it is when you have a lead. We had nothing to lose. We aired it out a little more.”
The Islanders are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and continued their masterful penalty killing over their last seven games with 23 straight man advantages snuffed out.
NOTES: The Islanders are 1-0-1 against division rivals this season. They were 21-6-3 against Metropolitan Division teams last season ... Carolina returns home to host Colorado on Friday and will play nine of its next 10 games at home ... The Islanders visit the Devils on Saturday before returning home to meet Buffalo on Sunday and the Devils next Tuesday.