Islanders beat Hurricanes in back-and-forth affair
NEW YORK — Doug Weight played his final NHL game seven years ago Friday, so he knows how much he’d enjoy being on the ice for the type of fast-paced hockey the New York Islanders have played this season.
“Let me get my player’s hat on — it’s awesome!” Weight said.
As a head coach, though? Different story, even when the Islanders are winning as they did Thursday night, when Johnny Boychuk scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:25 left in the third period of a 6-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at Barclays Center.
The Islanders took a pair of two-goal leads in the first period thanks to scores by Mathew Barzal, Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Leddy, all of whom tallied within a span of 3:10 late in the period.
But New York headed into the second intermission down 4-3 thanks to three consecutive second-period goals by the Hurricanes. It was the second blown multi-goal lead of the season for the Islanders, who also squandered a two-goal advantage against the New York Rangers on Oct. 19.
“Really was a good first period for us — really good,” Weight said. “And then what happens is we’ve been able to — and I had a good 60 seconds on the way (to the press conference) to think about it — we’ve been able to pull through some of these games and rely on some things, get away with some things. The second period, we get away from everything we did well.”
Noah Hanifin, Derek Ryan and Sebastian Aho scored in the second period for the Hurricanes, who outshot the Islanders 12-8 in the period.
The goals by Ryan and Aho each came at the end of flurries that left goalie Thomas Greiss leaning in the other direction and unable to defend the shots into the corner of the net.
“We just go into one-on-one mode and hold the puck, decisions at the blue line start (going) south,” Weight said.
As the Islanders did in a 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers, they managed to steady themselves and grab the two points against the Hurricanes.
Josh Bailey tied the score 7:22 into the third before Boychuk put New York ahead with a sizzling slap shot from the right faceoff circle.
Jordan Eberle added an empty-netter with 1:18 left for the Islanders (10-6-2), who have won two straight and are 9-1-0 this season when scoring more than three goals.
“We get back into it in the third and we play a better game,” Weight said. “(The Islanders) think that sooner or later I’m going to get tired of telling them (to play better). I’m not. I’m not going away. Because they could be so much better. They, as in we.”
Weight’s message might have begun sinking in Thursday.
“It was a good win for us, but the second period was really sloppy,” Boychuk said. “We have to clean that up, because when we did, we just got it in deep and went to work and we got our chances that way. Second period, we weren’t careful with the puck, had some bad decisions and we let them back in the game.”
Greiss had 28 saves for the Islanders, who played 13 of their first 17 games against the Western Conference but will face Eastern Conference opponents 12 times in a 13-game span that began Thursday.
“We have to gain ground and put teams behind us as well,” Boychuk said.
Elias Lindholm scored in the first period for the Hurricanes (7-6-4), who have lost two of three (1-1-1).
“I don’t think we got started on time,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “(Down) 3-1, then we found a way to come back.”
Goalie Scott Darling made 30 saves.
“We just got outworked in the third and the first,” said Hurricanes center Jordan Staal, who collected two assists. “But I thought we did a great job getting back in it.”
NOTES: The Islanders scratched D Scott Mayfield, C Alan Quine and D Dennis Seidenberg. ... Eight of the 18 Islanders in uniform were picked in the first round by New York: RW Josh Bailey, C Mathew Barzal, LW Anthony Beauvillier, D Calvin de Haan, RW Josh Ho-Sang, LW Brock Nelson, D Ryan Pulock and C John Tavares. ... The Hurricanes scratched C Marcus Kruger (illness) and D Klas Dahlbeck. ... Hurricanes G Scott Darling made his third straight start.