Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Grabner scored in his return to the lineup as the New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday.
Grabner was activated from injured reserve prior to the game after missing five games with an upper-body injury.
"We found a way to win," Grabner said. "We got some timely goals and pushed back when we need to."
John Tavares finished with a goal and an assist, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson also scored and Chad Johnson made 37 saves in a solid effort for the Islanders, who bounced back from Monday's 6-5 loss to the Rangers.
Jiri Tlusty scored the Hurricanes' lone goal and Anton Khudobin stopped 26- of-29 shots in defeat.
"They started the game right and came at us," said Tlusty. "Unfortunately, we didn't score more than one goal."
New York has been victorious in all three meetings against Carolina this season, also defeating their Metropolitan Division foes in a home-and-home set on Oct. 10-11.
The visitors opened the scoring on the power play with 2:54 remaining in the first period. Frans Nielsen moved toward the slot from the right circle and wristed a shot on net. The shot was stopped, but Lee was there to backhand the rebound through Khudobin's pads.
Nelson added to the Islanders' lead on a wrister from the right circle that eluded Khudobin to the blocker side 6:58 into the middle stanza.
Grabner made it a 3-0 game as he took a stretch pass from Thomas Hickey and scored with a wrister off a breakaway at 7:09 of the third.
Tlusty broke up Johnson's shutout bid on a quick shot in tight with 8:46 left in regulation.
With under six minutes to play, Carolina forward Nathan Gerbe had his goal waved off after it was deemed that he hit the puck with a high stick before it went into the net.
Tavares scored on an empty net with 4:19 to play to account for the final score.
Nielsen supplied two assists ... New York defenseman Travis Hamonic played in his 300th NHL game ... Nelson last scored on Jan. 4 against Edmonton ... Islanders forward Casey Cizikas missed the game with a lower-body injury ... Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin was a healthy scratch ... The two teams will conclude the season series on Feb. 28 at Nassau Coliseum.