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Playoff-chasing Hurricanes storm back vs. Islanders

It was a team that is playing loose and pressure-free entering the third with a lead, versus a team that went into the third period trailing by one but knowing exactly what needed to be done.

The Hurricanes received a nice break to get that late Tuomo Ruutu goal in the second to pull within one. (I can't believe it was allowed, given the goaltender bum-rush/interference by Erik Cole -- part of a night of officiating frustration for the Isles.) Credit to the Canes for seizing that break and making the Islanders pay in the third, giving themselves an essential two points.

Game Summary | Event Summary | AP Recap

Final - 3.20.2009 1 2 3 Total
New York Islanders 0 4 0 4
Carolina Hurricanes 2 1 2 5

Complete Coverage >

A few quick thoughts on this one:

  • Great hands from Richard Park once again. Bruno Gervais, too (Mike joked in the game thread about Streit's influence rubbing off on Gervais too much with that great pinch).
  • Peter Mannino responded well after a rough start, mishandling the puck on the first Canes goal.
  • Another good night for kids Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen ... and of course, vet Mark Streit, per usual.
  • The Islanders comeback was nice -- but of course their inability to hold on to it mitigates that satisfaction.
  • Lottery-wise, this was a bonus: We saw some offense, and we lost a close one. It feels bad to blow the lead, but ... there could be a greater good at work.

Some cross-promotion notes: The Islanders play Ottawa for the first time since the Chris Campoli trade today. In recognition, Peter from SBN's Senators blog Silver Seven and I are trading our perspectives on the deal. You can see mine over at Silver Seven, and he should have a response over here today. As always, you're encouraged to weigh in with your own opinion at either place.

Also, before today's game, I'll be a guest on today's Hockey Night on Long Island at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Just talkin' Isles hockey with Alex and Steve. You can listen in -- and call, or chat (or both) -- through the link below:

Listen to Hockey Night on Long Island on internet talk radio