New York at Carolina

Cullen, LaRose help run Hurricanes' home streak to seven


RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes didn't need a pep talk from Paul Maurice heading into the third period against the New York Islanders on Friday night.

The Eastern Conference standings are prominent in the locker room, and that was all the motivation the Hurricanes needed to rally for a 5-4 victory, their seventh in a row at home.

The last-place Islanders stunned the Hurricanes with four second-period goals, threatening to steal a game and provide a major roadblock to the Hurricanes' drive for the playoffs.

But Matt Cullen and Chad LaRose scored third-period goals and Carolina hung on despite being thoroughly outworked for much of the game.

The Hurricanes had a 2-0 lead after one period on goals by Cullen and LaRose, but New York had numerous scoring chances. In the second period, the Isles capitalized on those chances, scoring four times despite being stopped on two other breakaway chances by goalie Cam Ward.

"Yeah, we sat back on our heels," LaRose said. "Even in the first period, they got a lot of scoring chances. We were a little upset with ourselves after the second period. We did not play well in the second, and it showed. You know, we just didn't want to come in here with any regrets after the game."

Instead of regret, there were smiles. The victory vaulted the Hurricanes into sixth in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Rangers and two ahead of Montreal.

On a whiteboard next to the standings in the locker room, Maurice scribbled a postgame message to his team: "Good teams find a way to win."

But Ray Whitney, who had three assists for the Hurricanes, said the only message needed came from the columns of wins and losses. Carolina won the Stanley Cup in 2006 but has missed the playoffs the past two seasons.

"We just look at the board over there and realize where we are," Whitney said.

Frans Nielsen started the second-period surge for the Islanders, taking a loose puck off Ward's pads and scoring at 2:30. Richard Park, Bruno Gervais and Kyle Okposo added goals.

"I think it shows we have a lot of potential and we can score goals," winger Tim Jackman said. "When we're doing the right things, good things happen."

Tuomo Ruutu scored in the final minute of the second period for Carolina, which has not lost at home since Feb. 17.

"That was huge," Maurice said of Ruutu's goal.

Cullen tied it with 6:38 remaining, tipping in Rod Brind'Amour's shot on a power play. Then, after a diving clear by defenseman Joe Corvo, Whitney fed LaRose, who beat Peter Mannino with 4:21 to go.

The Hurricanes, 6-1-2 in March, try to continue their hot streak Saturday against visiting Washington, the Southeast Division leader. Whitney said the effort must be more consistent than it was Friday.

"If we learned anything, it was that we can't take a lapse for 10, 15 minutes in a game," Whitney said. "If we do that against Washington, it's not 4-2, it's 6-2. This gave us a little bit of humbling. We realized we're only as good as how hard we work."


  • Eric Staal, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, left the game briefly in the second period. He collided with Mannino on a breakaway and hit his head on the goalpost. Staal appeared dazed but skated off on his own and missed less than five minutes of the game.
  • The Islanders had no penalties in the first two periods but were called for four in the third period.
  • Mannino made 32 saves but put his team in a 1-0 hole in the first minute when he misplayed an innocent pass into the zone. Matt Cullen grabbed the puck and scored into an open net.
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Chad LaRose is pumped after he scores the game-winning goal vs. the Islanders.  (Getty Images)
Chad LaRose is pumped after he scores the game-winning goal vs. the Islanders. (Getty Images)
Related Links
NY Islanders (24-39-8)0404
Carolina  (38-28-7) «2125
Three Stars
C. LaRose

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Cullen

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
R. Whitney

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3

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Scoring Summary
44.0Matt Cullen (21), Wrist Shot. Assist: Whitney, Corvo
18:52Chad LaRose (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cullen, Whitney
02:30Frans Nielsen (6), Snap Shot. Assist: Okposo, Witt
05:54Richard Park (12), Backhand Shot. Assist: Jackman, McAmmond
14:51Bruno Gervais (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hilbert, Jackman
18:57Power Play - Kyle Okposo (17), Slap Shot. Assist: Streit, Nielsen
19:06Tuomo Ruutu (22), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cole
13:22Power Play - Matt Cullen (22), Tip-In. Assist: Brind'Amour, Corvo
15:39Chad LaRose (16), Tip-In. Assist: Whitney, Corvo
Penalty Summary
17:46Pitkanen, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
05:58Gervais, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
12:33Comeau, 2 min, Hooking
17:23Iggulden, 2 min, Cross-Checking
18:00McAmmond, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Shots On Goal
New York1016632
Peter Mannino59:51325
Cam Ward60:00284
Game Information
Attendance - 18137
Referees - Dan Marouelli, Dean Morton
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Jonny Murray
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