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.