Islanders Tavares scores OT winner for come-from-behind win over Hurricanes

Two New York goals in the final 65 seconds of the second period erase Carolina lead

James Guillory—USA TODAY Sports
Islanders captain John Tavares takes the game-winning shot in the overtime against the Hurricanes on March 14at PNC Arena. New York won

RALEIGH — A night after dropping eight goals on the Islanders in Brooklyn, the Carolina Hurricanes played a much more conventional game against New York on Tuesday at PNC Arena. Unfortunately they were on the other end of the result, falling 3-2 in overtime on a John Tavares goal.The Hurricanes got out to a two-goal lead and seemed poised to enter the third period with the game under control, but the Islanders scored twice in last 65 seconds of the middle frame to set up a back-and-forth final period.Neither team could score, with Cam Ward and Thomas Greiss — who each played at Barclays Center the night before — one-upping each other in net to force overtime. Carolina won the opening draw in the 3-on-3 extra session, but Jaccob Slavin’s attempted blue line-to-blue line, cross-ice pass to Jordan Staal was intercepted by Islanders rookie Josh Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang dropped a pass to Tavares, who took a wrist shot that beat Ward to end it and keep the Islanders on pace in the race for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.”We flat-out made a mistake on the assignment,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said, stating that Victor Rask picked up the wrong player. “So: won the draw, had the puck, tried to make a play — it looked like Jordo was maybe going to be open — turned it over. Then we made a mistake sorting it out. So that’s what that is.”The Hurricanes (28-27-12) jumped out to the lead when, for the second-straight night, Joakim Nordstrom scored. After Lee Stempniak and rookie Lucas Wallmark forced an Islanders turnover, Nordstrom fired a bullet past New York goalie Thomas Greiss to make it 1-0 with 7:30 remaining in the first period. For Wallmark, in his second NHL game, it was his first NHL assist and point.Fellow Swede Elias Lindholm extended the lead just 40 seconds into the second period. Lindholm knocked the puck off Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy’s stick at the Carolina blue line and raced up the left wing, releasing a quick shot that beat Greiss on the short side under his blocker for a 2-0 Hurricanes lead.”He made a really good play on the goal, a good, quick release,” Peters said of Lindholm. “He’s playing very very well and it’s a poisitive for us moving forward.”The Islanders (33-25-11), fighting for their playoff lives, responded late in the second.First, with 1:05 left in the period Ho-Sang scored shortly after a penalty of Sebastian Aho expired, taking advantage of a group of exhausted Carolina penalty killers to cut the lead in half.Then New York immediately struck again, with Jason Chimera collecting a loose puck and ripping a shot past Ward with 39.3 seconds remaining. The Hurricanes went from heading into the third period with a two-goal lead to a tie game entering the last 20 minutes.”I think we took a breath there at the end of the second there and let them back in the game and all of a sudden it’s a tie game,” Lindholm said.The two goalies then took center stage, with Ward (31 saves) and Greiss (30 saves) sprawling and stretching to make stops to keep the game tied at 2. But Ward allowed one more than Greiss, giving the Islanders a much-needed two points in the standings.”We had the puck there and I tried to make a play to Jordo and just turned it over,” Slavin said of his long pass. “And then they came down with a good amount of speed and Tavares just made a pretty good shot — I probably screened Wardo a little bit there.”Notes: Lee Stempniak finished with six shots on goal, the most he’s had with the Hurricanes. … Carolina won 32 of 50 faceoffs. … The Islanders outhit Carolina 37-18. … The Hurricanes top four defensemen all finished with 20-plus minutes, led by Brett Pesce with 21:52.