Three games in four days took its toll on the New York Islanders.
New York played a sharp first period but sagged against the Carolina Hurricanes, who scored three times early in the second period for a 3-1 victory Saturday.
"We've played as many games as anyone," Islanders coach Mike Milbury said. "We had a very good first period, but weren't able to score. They had a stretch of 10 minutes where they took it to us."
New York, which beat Philadelphia on Wednesday night and lost to Ottawa on Thursday night, took a 3-0 lead in its previous game against Carolina before allowing six consecutive goals. Hurricanes captain Keith Primeau said his team was focusing on the first period.
"We knew they were going to come out hard in the first period, and we were able to weather the storm," Primeau said. "We were able to keep them to the outside. They never really clogged up the middle."
New York skated well in the first period and held the Hurricanes without a shot for the first 14 minutes but only managed six shots against goalie Trevor Kidd, getting only 22 overall. The Hurricanes scored at 14:34, but Kent Manderville's goal was disallowed because teammate Paul Ranheim had a skate in goalie Tommy Salo's crease.
| Carolina's Glen Wesley (left) congratulates Sami Kapanen after Kapanen scored a goal during the Hurricanes' 3-1 victory Saturday. (AP) |
"I was down low and got to the goal line," Kapanen said. "I saw Primeau cut in, and I tried the backhand. If he saved it, Keith was there for a rebound.
Primeau got his own goal 61 seconds later while Carolina was on a power play, getting a rebound in front of Salo and stuffing the puck in.
"We seemed to sag after that second goal," Milbury said. "Tommy (20 saves) was solid again today, and I didn't see a lack of effort. We just couldn't score."
Sergei Nemchinov scored at 14:02 of the final period on a backhand.
"Our consistency has been better this season than it was my other two years here," Primeau said after Carolina evened its record at 10-10-3. "It helps knowing that we have players who know how to win. Last year, we were in a difficult spot with the move and all the traveling. This season, we understand that we're in a precarious situation, and are dealing with it better."
New York lost for the fifth time in seven games.
"Just like at the start of the year, we've had trouble offensively, but then we got together and started scoring some goals," captain Trevor Linden said. "We have to generate more offensive chances and more shots."
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