Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Josh Bailey’s tip-in four seconds before the second intermission proved to be the difference as the New York Islanders won their final home opener at Nassau Coliseum, 4-3, over the Carolina Hurricanes.
John Tavares, Cory Conacher and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders, who will move to Brooklyn next season and play their home games at Barclays Center.
“Guys are playing hard, battling hard,” said Tavares. “Even when things don’t go well, when you do those things it’s going to turn a lot quicker.”
Chad Johnson made 21 stops between the pipes to help New York move to 2-0-0 on the young season.
Carolina got all three of its goals from Jiri Tlusty, who posted his second career hat trick in the setback. Alexander Semin had two assists, and Anton Khudobin surrendered all four goals on 31 shots.
“Definitely happy with the goals, but I’d trade all three of them for a win,” said Tlusty. “We have to be a lot sharper and ready to go when we play at home on Tuesday.”
It was tied 2-2 after one period, but the Islanders scored twice in the second to pull away. Nelson deflected a Johnny Boychuk slapper past Khudobin at 6:47, and Bailey beat the buzzer following a nifty feed from Frans Nielsen.
Tlusty capped his trifecta inside of six minutes remaining in the third on a wrister following a poor clear, but Johnson shut the door the rest of the way — including a minute-plus stretch with Khudobin on the bench for an extra attacker.
Early on, Tavares lit the lamp with a blistering slapshot from the left circle to open the scoring. Carolina tied it at 14:13 when Tlusty took a feed from John-Michael Liles and wristed it past Johnson for a power-play strike.
Only 31 seconds later, Conacher had the Isles back on top when he tapped in his first goal of the year from Tavares. Just 17 seconds remained before the first intermission, when Tlusty potted his second power-play goal of the period.
Tlusty’s first hat trick came on April 2, 2013, against the Capitals … Both teams had two power-play goals … Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison received 17 minutes in penalties for a fight with New York’s Matt Martin.