Hurricanes 1, Islanders 0: Isles Play Better, but still fall victim to Hurricanes

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Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

A fluky goal in the first period cost the Islanders two points in North Carolina, as the Hurricanes defeated the Isles 1-0 at PNC Arena.

The game’s only goal came at the 6:39 mark of the first period. Ron Hainsey flung a seemingly innocent shot at the net. The puck deflected off the body of Radek Dvorak, who was on the side of the net, and into the net. The early first period goal turned out to be all the Hurricanes needed.

Kevin Poulin put up a solid performance, turning away 23 of 24 shots he faced. Justin Peters stopped all 24 shots the Islanders threw at him during the 60 minute affair.

“[Poulin] made the big saves when we needed,” Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “Their guy made a couple big saves too, but Kevin battled for us. That’s what he does and he deserved to win that hockey game.”

In contrast to Tuesday’s 6-2 loss in Washington, the Islanders had more offensive chances and had a better defensive performance. However, the power play looked the same. They went 0-for-five on the man-advantage and were not able to sustain much pressure during that time.

“I think we need to get back to shooting, definitely on the PP,” Kyle Okposo said. “We just were a little sloppy I thought tonight on the power play. I think we take pride in outworking the penalty kill and our work ethic needs to be better for Columbus on Saturday.”

The penalty kill had a much better performance, keeping the Hurricanes power play unit from generating offense during the man-advantage. It was a stark contrast to the show they put on in Washington D.C. where they surrendered four power play goals.

The Islanders controlled the pace of the game for most of the first period, but failed to put many shots on net. Through the first two periods, the Islanders had 12 shots on net, five of which came in the first. Prior to Travis Hamonic registering the first Islanders’ shot on goal at 9:51 in the first, New York had missed the net 11 times.

“We had 19 missed shots after two periods, obviously this is something we have to work on,” Capuano said. “We have to hit the net to create chances. Second and third opportunities and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Capuano said that he and his staff will reevaluate things before making any decisions about the roster for Saturday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.