Raleigh, NC – Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner both scored in the first two rounds of the shootout to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
John Tavares tied the game with 1:01 left in regulation, but the Islanders shooters couldn't beat Dan Ellis in the shootout.
Nash skated in from the right side in the first round and fired one past Evgeni Nabokov for the first goal.
After Brad Boyes was denied, Skinner potted the deciding goal. He weaved back and forth as he approached the net before firing the disc past Nabokov's blocker.
Despite the setback, New York clinched a berth in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs following the Winnipeg Jets' 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. The Islanders needed just one point and a regulation loss by the Jets to clinch the spot.
"We got our game going, and we got contributions from everybody and started to figure out what it takes to win," Tavares said, reflecting on the season. "And you know we're happy to be there and give ourselves an opportunity to compete in the playoffs. A lot of us haven't had that experience."
Alexander Semin scored 3:57 into the game, but Brad Boyes netted the equalizer just over two minutes later.
Jordan Staal potted his 10th goal of the season with 3:40 remaining after tipping in Jay Harrison's shot from the slot.
Kyle Okposo's shot bounced off Ellis, but Bailey was there to clean up the miss and tie the game at 2-2 with 12 1/2 minutes remaining in the middle session.
Patrick Dwyer scored with 2:15 left in the second to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 edge.
"We're starting to find our identity, and that's important going into next year," Ellis said. "For us to come up with big games against teams that are going to be in our division next year, it was a great effort. We really started to get our work boots on, play a smarter brand of hockey and we did really well tonight and got a big win."
The Islanders haven't appeared in the playoffs since the 2006-2007 season ... Ellis made 36 saves ... New York will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday ... The Islanders hold a two-point edge over the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference ... Carolina will host the Rangers on Thursday.