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Islanders hang on for 5-4 win over Hurricanes

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm •  Published: March 25, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Even as the lead quickly grew to four goals, Matt Martin and the New York Islanders never felt comfortable.

It turned out they needed each of those goals — plus one more — to finally beat the Carolina Hurricanes.

Colin McDonald had two goals and an assist, and Martin also scored twice for the New York Islanders, who held on for a 5-4 victory on Tuesday night.

"You could just tell it was going to be a bit of a crazy game," Martin said. "Obviously, you never want to give up a 4-0 lead but we held on and found a way to win."

McDonald scored both of his goals in New York's four-goal first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Martin also scored in the burst that produced four goals in a span of 7:15.

A combined 20 players had a point in this matchup of the bottom two teams in the Metropolitan Division.

"We're not going to make the playoffs this year, but guys are fighting for jobs for next year," McDonald said.

Andrei Loktionov had a goal and an assist, Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin each scored power-play goals, and Nathan Gerbe added a goal for Carolina, which fell to 5-10 since the Olympic break.

Cam Ward stopped six shots but allowed three goals before he was replaced by Anton Khudobin 6:12 in. Khudobin made 21 saves.

Anders Nilsson stopped 24 shots for the Islanders, who are 13-4-1 in their last 18 road games and have won three of four overall.

Carolina's best chance to force overtime came when rookie Elias Lindholm drew a holding penalty on Kevin Czuczman with 4:48 left. But Nilsson caught Semin's knuckling wrister with 2:55 to play.

This game was a fitting metaphor for an inconsistent season for the seventh-place Hurricanes — who were both bad enough to fall into a 4-0 hole against the last-place Islanders, yet good enough to come back.

"The effort and the preparation has got to be better," veteran defenseman Jay Harrison said. "There's no excuse and there's no secret recipe. That's the bottom line. That's the only way."

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