Pitkanen scores winner in OT as Cane beat Isles

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The Associated Press
Friday, March 18, 2011; 10:49 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Joni Pitkanen scored at 3:58 of overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Friday night.

Erik Cole set up the extra period for the Hurricanes with a tying goal at 15:23 of the third.

Jeff Skinner scored his 25th goal and had an assist on Pitkanen's winner for Carolina, giving him an NHL rookie-leading 52 points. The win ended a two-game home losing streak and put the Hurricanes in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points. Eighth-place Buffalo also has 76 points and two games in hand.

Michael Grabner and Frans Nielsen each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. Grabner's goal, his fourth in seven games, was his NHL rookie-leading 29th.

Carolina goalie Cam Ward stopped 34 shots. Islanders goalie Al Montoya, who was drafted by the Rangers in Raleigh in 2004 and was facing Carolina for the first time, also had 32 saves.

The score was tied 1-1 after a penalty-free first period in which the Islanders outshot Carolina 13-11.

Carolina scored first at even strength at 16:33 of the first, as Skinner received Jussi Jokinen's pass from the right circle and tipped it into the open left side of the net.

The celebration was short-lived, as Nielsen followed Grabner's shot and slid the puck behind Ward from the left doorstep at 17:52.

The Islanders made it 2-1 at 3:10 of the second, as Grabner collected the rebound of a Travis Hamonic shot and flipped the puck backhand past Ward glove side.

Cole got the equalizer, popping the puck over Montoya's left shoulder for his 20th goal with Cory Stillman on the assist.

NOTES: Skinner hadn't scored a goal since Feb. 25. Islanders LW Trevor Gillies served the seventh of his 10-game suspension. Hurricanes rookie D Jamie McBain (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game.


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