UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Miroslav Satan figured linemate Alexei Yashin would help him score his first goal with the New York Islanders.
When the biggest assist he could ask for came from Carolina defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky, Satan was more than willing to take it. After all he's been through lately, he felt more than worthy of the good fortune.
Satan's first goal snapped a third-period tie and the Islanders held on for a 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Hurricanes. It wasn't the most glamorous of his 260 NHL goals, but when you are desperate for one they are all beautiful.
"I think I deserve one of those," said Satan, scoreless in seven preseason games and most of two real ones since signing with the Islanders this summer. "I had good chances and I couldn't put it in so maybe this is what happens afterward."
If not for the 42 saves made by Rick DiPietro, the Islanders would've been long out of the game before then.
Islanders coach Steve Stirling said he is urging his players to shoot more because good things can happen, and Satan proved him right. He flung a shot from the right boards and 21-year-old goalie Cam Ward deflected it up with his skate.
Tverdovsky tried to clear it with two swipes of his stick but the second put the puck in and gave New York a 2-1 lead 5:39 into the third period.
"I didn't see the puck at first," Tverdovsky said. "When I saw it, I just reacted and tried to get my stick on it and poke it away.
"I'm sorry it happened."
The advantage grew just 1:27 later when Shawn Bates single-handedly created a short-handed goal. He knocked the puck away in the Islanders' zone and brought it up the ice. He deked center Matt Cullen off his skates and scored into an upper corner.
Eric Staal had two goals for Carolina, including one with 1:01 remaining that made it 3-2. He has four on the season and has scored in all three of the Hurricanes' games.
"If we could have buried a few more chances early in the game, it might have been a different story," Staal said. "DiPietro came up big."
DiPietro made 16 saves in the first period and fell three short of his career high in a game.
Carolina was 0-for-3 on the power play in the first and 0-for-5 overall. The Hurricanes have failed on all 15 power plays this season and have a short-handed goal against.
"We're just not getting that goal that could do some damage," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "The power play hasn't really produced and it's cost us."
Ward made 32 saves in his second NHL start in two nights. He won his debut in stellar fashion, stopping Pittsburgh's Ziggy Palffy, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby in a shootout victory Friday.
For the second straight game, DiPietro's teammates didn't give him much help in front. In the first period, DiPietro bailed them out after the Islanders committed nine turnovers. Only Staal took advantage, giving the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 7:15.
"He gave us every chance to get back in it and we took advantage of it. He was the difference," Stirling said.
The Islanders broke through during a second-period power play.
Brent Sopel's shot from the point was stopped but he couldn't get to the rebound before Jason Blake knocked it in with 6:59 left in the second. Blake also had a goal in New York's season-opening 6-4 loss Wednesday at Buffalo.
The Islanders played a much better second period but had nothing to show for it until Blake scored. New York had gone 185 minutes, 56 seconds without a goal on home ice, dating to the regular season before the lockout.
"The biggest key for us was recognizing that we didn't come out hard in that first period and doing something to change it," DiPietro said. "It could've been nerves, it could've been the first game in the home building after a year off. That's not the New York Islanders. That's not how we play. We play hard, fast, in-your-face skating hockey and that's not what we did in the first period."
New York was reeling from a double dose of frustration minutes before Blake scored.
Mark Parrish deflected a shot from the slot ring off the crossbar, and Sopel's apparent goal was waved off because Parrish interfered with Ward.
But things turned around after that to the delight of the sellout crowd on opening night.
"They could've turned on us," Stirling said. "The good news they didn't."
Islanders RW Arron Asham made his season debut after sitting out the opener with a rib injury. ... Carolina LW Erik Cole played despite taking a cross-check in the side Friday that kept him out for most of the third period.