Hurricanes 4, Islanders 2

Bobby Sanguinetti waited quite a while for his first NHL goal,

that came at a perfect time for the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 24-year-old defenseman snapped a tie midway through the

third period, and the Hurricanes rallied to beat the inconsistent

New York Islanders 4-2 and snap a three-game losing streak Sunday

night.

Sanguinetti, a first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in

2006, fired a snap shot from the top of the right circle over the

glove hand of goalie Kevin Poulin at 10:17.

Sanguinetti, who has battled injuries throughout his career, had

just one assist in 20 NHL games before Sunday. He has played most

of the past three seasons with AHL Charlotte.

”That was a feeling I can’t even describe right now,” said

Sanguinetti as he tucked the puck into his red Hurricanes equipment

bag. ”To finally score in the NHL and have it be a game winner is

incredible. And I’m glad I scored it in New York.”

The Hurricanes are happy, too, as their injury-hampered squad

was able to win for the second time on Long Island in 13 days.

Carolina was without injured defenseman Joni Pitkanen and Tim

Gleason as well as Jeff Skinner, their second-leading scorer who is

out with a concussion.

”This was a good win because we didn’t quit and played a solid

third period,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. ”I feel great

for Bobby because tonight was his strongest game for us yet. He’s a

good skilled player who moves the puck well, and he was solid on

both ends of the ice.”

Alexander Semin completed the scoring with an empty-net goal

with 30 seconds left. He also had two assists.

John Tavares and Matt Moulson had given the Islanders a 2-0 lead

midway through the first period, and New York seemed on its way to

a third straight victory.

But Eric and Jordan Staal scored 45 seconds apart late in the

second period to tie it at 2.

The Hurricanes (9-7-1) had only two shots on goal through most

of a listless second period, before Eric Staal scored his

team-leading ninth goal on a power play at 18:28.

The Carolina captain knocked the puck out of midair with his

stick past Poulin, who was making his first start of the season

after being recalled from AHL Bridgeport on Saturday.

Just 45 seconds later, Jordan Staal tied it 2-2 with his fourth

of the season. His snap shot from between the circles beat a

screened Poulin.

”The first goal on the power play was a big one,” Eric Staal

said. ”Then to have Jordan tie it right away was also huge. And

our third period was strong. This was key for us.”

Sanguinetti’s goal was an NHL-leading 34th in the third period

for Carolina.

The Islanders (8-10-1) continued to struggle at home, where they

are an NHL-worst 2-7.

”I don’t know why we play differently at home,” Islanders

coach Jack Capuano said. ”I can’t understand why we were so flat

in the third period.”

Moulson opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the season off

a pass from behind the net from Brad Boyes. Tavares, who assisted

on the goal, has been on the ice for 70 consecutive goals by his

linemate, dating to Nov. 17, 2010.

Tavares scored his 13th goal – sharing the league lead with

Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos – off an assist from Moulson at 12:25.

The speedy center swept down the left side before whipping the puck

over the left shoulder of goalie Cam Ward.

Tavares and Moulson have combined for 23 goals, the most of any

NHL teammates this season.

The 22-year-old Poulin was 15-14-3 with a 3.22 goals against

average in 32 games for Bridgeport. He was recalled to replace Rick

DiPietro, who was demoted after an 0-3 start.

Poulin made numerous strong saves among his 14 stops in the

first period, including glove saves on Jussi Jokinen and Ryan

Murphy. His last two NHL wins were against Carolina – a 5-2 victory

last Jan. 31 in Raleigh and a 4-3 home win last Feb. 18.

NOTES: The game opened a seven-game homestand for the Islanders,

their sixth in team history. … The Islanders will visit Raleigh

on April 23 to complete the season series. … Defenseman Radek

Martinek made his season debut for the Islanders. It was his first

NHL appearance since Oct. 21, 2011, when he sustained a concussion

while playing for Columbus. … Moulson, who played in his 265th

straight game for the Islanders, hasn’t missed a game since joining

them before the 2009-10 season.