UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Jordan Staal and Brett Sutter scored 57 seconds apart in the second period, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders yet again, 3-2 on Saturday night for their third consecutive win.
Staal broke a tie with his ninth goal with 6:48 left in the second. Sutter stretched the Carolina lead to 3-1 with 5:51 to go with the second of his NHL career and first since his debut on Dec. 23, 2008 — a span of 50 games.
Manny Malhotra staked the Hurricanes to a 1-0 lead when he scored for a third straight game, connecting at 6:57 of the second with his fourth goal.
John Tavares answered 44 seconds later with his 17th for the Islanders, and Thomas Vanek scored with 24.2 seconds remaining, but New York had a season-best, three-game winning streak broken.
It was fitting this loss came against the Hurricanes, who improved to 23-5-5 in the last 33 meetings with the Islanders and 16-2-4 in the past 22. Carolina is certainly not intimidated by Nassau Coliseum as the Hurricanes are 11-1-2 there in their past 14 visits.
Anton Khudobin was the beneficiary this time and improved to 4-0, including wins in back-to-back games. Khudobin, who made 38 saves, missed 32 games this season due to injury. Carolina captain Eric Staal left with a lower-body injury after the second period and didn't return.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 27 shots for New York.
Carolina took its first lead when Andrew MacDonald had the puck taken away behind his net by Patrick Dwyer, who made a quick pass out front to Malhotra for the goal that left Nabokov shaking his head.