Tavares continues his dominance in Isles win over ‘Canes
By Gary Harding
I guess John Tavares did not need the All-Star break. As a matter of fact, he picked up right where he left off.
The Islanders lone representative to the All-Star Game continued his January dominance with a four point night (two goals and two assists), as New York defeated the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
Tavares first point of the night was the result of an assist on PA Parenteau’s 11th of the season, as the Isles took advantage of their first power play attempt in three games. They quickly took advantage as Tavares at the left wing boards found Parenteau in the right slot, and snapped it past Cam Ward for the 1-0 lead.
The second period, the Isles would get another power play notch, as Matt Moulson would get his 23rd of the season, as he re-directed a blocked shot from Mark Streit (2 assists) past an unsuspecting Ward, to give the Isles the 2-0 lead.
In the third, the Hurricanes found some life, and got two goals in a four minute span as Brandon Sutter (11th) and Tim Brent (7th on the PP), knotted the game at just under the seven minute mark.
However, John Tavares was not to be stopped. Matt Moulson pushed the puck through the slot as Tavares was racing down the ice. The slapper was up and in, giving the visitors the lead for good.
The defense was strong, and Kevin Poulin, called up for the game, was solid in net. Poulin, playing three games in four days for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, made 21 saves for his first NHL win in over a year. He had to make some tremendous saves, especially in the latter portion of the game.
The Isles would get two goals on an empty net. One by Kyle Okposo (12th) and Tavares (22nd), would close the scoring.
Tavares now has nine points in three games against the Hurricanes this season. He got three assists in a 4-3 shootout win against Carolina on January 3rd. Eighteen days later, he scored both of the Islanders’ goals in a 2-1 overtime win. With 53 points in 49 games this season, Tavares becomes the first Islander to have 50-plus points in three straight seasons since Mariusz Czerkawski from 1999-2002. JT now has 26 points (11 goals/15 assists) in his last 15 games.
“It was nice to get a goal back there and put us back ahead and swing the momentum,” Tavares said to the media after the game.
For the Islanders – a off day to become dealers and casino night workers on their first Casino Charity night. Then – on to Ottawa on Friday night, then a home game against the Buffalo Sabres.
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