Hurricanes edge Islanders 4-3 for fifth straight win
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Justin Williams, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, has scored many big goals. The puck found his stick after he left the penalty box in the third period Tuesday night, and the veteran forward scored another to lift Carolina to a fifth-straight win.
Williams got his 299th career goal at 17:18 of the third and the Hurricanes beat the Islanders 4-3 on Tuesday night to snap New York's six-game winning streak.
His 10th goal of the season made it 3-2. The 37-year-old forward flipped a backhand past goaltender Thomas Greiss with an assist from Greg McKegg.
"I was hoping they would kill off the penalty and they did. Then I got a great pass, the top side opened up and it turns out to be the game-winning goal," Williams said. "That team makes you earn everything. We got it done."
Jaccob Slavin made it 4-2 for the Hurricanes with a power-play goal at 18:53 before Brock Nelson scored his second of the game for the Islanders at 19:01.
Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves for Carolina, which also got goals from Saku Maenalanen and McKegg.
The Islanders were coming off a three-goal comeback win over St. Louis on Saturday following an overtime home win over Chicago last Thursday. The loss left their coach Barry Trotz frustrated about his team's lack of execution.
Trotz was perturbed the Islanders gave up McKegg's goal with only six seconds left in the first as well as Williams' tally on a broken play in the Islanders' zone.
"I thought we just mismanaged the game," Trotz said. "There are certain moments where you have to execute what is in the best interest of the group. We didn't do that. That's a good way to lose hockey games. That one or two points we could have had, we just threw them away."
Rookie defenseman Devon Toews tied it early in the third period for New York. It was his second goal since being recalled from AHL Bridgeport.
Nelson opened the scoring 13:42 into the first period, but Carolina tied it when rookie Maenalanen scored his first goal at 15:10. The 24-year-old Maenalanen played his fifth career game after signing with Carolina last May as a free agent. He previously played for Karpat of the Finnish League.
"Saku had a good game. He's been a huge boost," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We are finding ways to win right now and we know we can be better."
McKegg put the Hurricanes ahead with six seconds left in the first, knocking a loose puck past Greiss in the crease for his second goal of the season.
"I just tried to get to the net. It was a lucky bounce and it ended up going in," McKegg said.
Jordan Eberle appeared to tie it for the Islanders early in the second period, but Valterri Filppula was ruled offside before the goal.
McElhinney also made a sprawling save on Ryan Pulock alone in the slot in the waning seconds of the middle period.
Lee echoed his coach regarding the missed opportunity to snare at least a point. The Islanders will try to make amends with an upcoming home-and-home series against the Rangers starting on Thursday.
"We should have played better and smarter," Lee said. "We have to reset and get ready to go in a couple of days."
NOTES: The Islanders had won the previous three meetings between the teams this season. ... The Islanders are 3-1-1 at Nassau Coliseum and fell to 10-4-1 in division games. ... Islanders forward Matt Martin played his 600th career game. ... The Islanders loaned forward Josh Ho-Sang to AHL Bridgeport and activated Filppula before the game. ... The Islanders scratched Fs Ross Johnston and Tom Kuhnhackl and D Luca Sbisa. ... The Hurricanes scratched F Clark Bishop and D Dan Renouf.
Islanders: Begin home and home series with Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Hurricanes: Play at Tampa Bay on Thursday night.