UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti’s first NHL goal snapped a tie midway through the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied to beat the New York Islanders 4-2 and snap a three-game losing streak Sunday night.
Sanguinetti, a former first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers, fired a snap shot from the top of the right circle over the glove hand of goalie Kevin Poulin at 10:17. The 24-year-old defenseman, who has battled injuries throughout his career, had one assist in 20 NHL games before Sunday. He spent most of last season with AHL Charlotte.
Alexander Semin completed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left.
John Tavares and Matt Moulson had given the Islanders a 2-0 lead midway through the first period, and New York seemed on its way to a third straight victory.
But Eric and Jordan Staal scored 45 seconds apart late in the second period to tie it at 2.
The Hurricanes (9-7-1) had only two shots on goal through most of a listless second period, before Eric Staal scored his team-leading ninth goal on a power play at 18:28.
The Hurricanes captain knocked the puck out of midair with his stick past Poulin, who was making his first start of the season after being recalled from AHL Bridgeport on Saturday.
Just 45 seconds later, Jordan Staal tied it 2-2 with his fourth of the season. His snap shot from between the circles beat a screened Poulin.
The Islanders (8-10-1) continued to struggle at home, where they are an NHL-worst 2-7.
Sanguinetti’s goal was a league-leading 34th in the third period for Carolina, which was playing without injured defenseman Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason as well as Jeff Skinner, the Hurricanes’ second-leading scorer who is out with a concussion.
Moulson opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the season off a pass from behind the net from Brad Boyes. Tavares, who assisted on the goal, has been on the ice for 70 consecutive goals by his linemate, dating to Nov. 17, 2010.
Tavares scored his league-leading 13th goal on an assist from Moulson at 12:25. The speedy center swept down the left side before whipping the puck over the left shoulder of goalie Cam Ward.
Tavares and Moulson also have combined for 23 goals, the most of any NHL teammates this season.
The 22-year-old Poulin was 15-14-3 with a 3.22 goals against average in 32 games for Bridgeport. He was recalled to replace Rick DiPietro, who was demoted after an 0-3 start.
Poulin made numerous strong saves among his 14 stops in the first period, including glove saves on Jussi Jokinen and Ryan Murphy. His last two NHL wins were against Carolina _ a 5-2 victory last Jan. 31 in Raleigh and a 4-3 home win last Feb. 18.
NOTES: The game opened a seven-game homestand for the Islanders, their sixth in team history. . The Islanders will visit Raleigh on April 23 to complete the season series. — Defenseman Radek Martinek made his season debut for the Islanders. It was his first NHL appearance since Oct. 21, 2011, when he sustained a concussion while playing for Columbus. . Moulson, who played in his 265th straight game for the Islanders, hasn’t missed a game since joining them before the 2009-10 season.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)