RALEIGH Hurricanes rookie forward Brock McGinn followed up his first two-goal game with a career-high four points, scoring once and assisting on three of Carolina’s seven goals in their 7-4 romp over the New York Islanders Saturday at PNC Arena.McGinn had nine points in 45 career games including a modest five in 24 games this season before registering seven, including four goals, in Carolina’s last three games. All three were regulation wins over Eastern Conference foes.”I didn’t want to change my game even though obviously the points weren’t coming, but I just want to go out there and play the same way,” McGinn said. “And right now they’re coming so I’m just going to continue it.”McGinn and linemates Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm combined for three goals and 10 points Sunday, overshadowing a big performance by Islanders captain John Tavares (two goals one night after recording a hat trick against the Panthers).The Hurricanes (21-15-7) outshot the Islanders 17-12 in the first period, but New York led 2-1 courtesy of two screens by their captain. Tavares first struck at 4:16 by providing a screen and redirection of a Scott Mayfield shot for a 1-0 lead. Carolina answered as McGinn got his fourth goal in six periods, banging in the rebound of a Lindholm shot with 3:34 left to tie the game. But Tavares blocked Cam Ward’s sight line again, and Anders Lee’s one-timer found the net for a 2-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the first period.New York pushed the lead to two just 1:52 into the second on a Jason Chimera goal, but then the Hurricanes onslaught started.At 4:58, Justin Faulk pinched down and scored his eighth goal of the season on a pass from Lindholm. Lindholm then got one of his own courtesy a no-look backhanded saucer pass from McGinn to tie it up four minutes later.McGinn then made another another pinpoint pass, finding defenseman Brett Pesce at the far post for a redirection and a 4-3 Carolina lead. “Our scouts stepped up and took him in the second round, and he’s a little undersized, maybe not the fastest guy, but he’s got a lot of hockey player in him,” coach Bill Peters said of McGinn. “He’s a very courageous kid, very intelligent player, got a lotta old school in him, and he’s starting to play with way more pace now, which is a huge credit to him.”Tavares got his second of the game and fifth in two nights just 68 seconds into the third to tie the game again. But Carolina responded quickly when Lee Stempniak took a clean faceoff win by Teuvo Teravainen and ripped a shot over Greiss’ glove to reclaim the lead at 5:42.”We talked about trying a couple different things and it was a great faceoff it was like it was on a tee for me, so it was nice,” Stempniak said of the play. The goal made Stempniak the 14th different Hurricanes player with a game-winning goal this season.”It’s important, especially when you go on the road, right?” Peters said of having goal-scoring balance. “Because now the matchups aren’t in your favor and if somebody’s got a checking line that’s effective, all of a sudden they’re going to assign it somebody that’s hot. And then if they neutralize that line, somebody else has to generate the offense.” Stempniak’s line then scored again when, like McGinn before him, Teravainen followed up his assist with a goal. Stempniak won a board battle and found Faulk on the point, and his wrist shot was redirected by Teravainen for his 10th goal.And then on Star Wars Night at PNC Arena, Staal got Carolina’s seventh goal matching the number of films in the series to put the game out of reach and chase Greiss.The win gave Carolina wins in all four games of their homestand, pushing them within a point of the Flyers, who have played two more games than the Hurricanes, for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.With a 15-4-1 mark at home, including 14-1-1 in the last 16, the Hurricanes will face Columbus who they beat 5-3 Tuesday before returning home Friday to host the Penguins, and then traveling back to Columbus for another game the next night.”Our game is starting to evolve, and we’ll see where we can get it to,” Peters said.Notes: Six different Hurricanes had multiple points: McGinn (4), Staal (3), Lindholm (3), Stempniak (3), Faulk (2) and Teravainen (2). … Carolina outshot the Islanders 45-32. … Jay McClement won 10 of 12 faceoffs, while Victor Rask loss six of seven. Tavares won just 5 of 17 draws.
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