Hurricanes squander late equalizer, lose 2-1 to Islanders

Islanders forward Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his game-winning goal with teammates as Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter stands nearby during New York’s 2-1 win Friday in Raleigh. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — Through 59 minutes of Friday night’s game between the Islanders and Hurricanes, just one goal had been scored between the two teams.

Twice as many were scored in the last 60 seconds, but the result was the same.

New York forward Kyle Palmieri scored with 14.1 seconds remaining — trumping the tying goal Carolina’s Vincent Trocheck had scored 42 seconds earlier with a sixth attacker on the ice — to give the Islanders a 2-1 win in front of 17,279 at PNC Arena.

“It hurts whenever you get one back late and then they score,” a sullen Trocheck said after the loss.

Palmieri took the puck around the back of the net and fended off Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei with one arm while maintaining control with the other before turning and beating Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen (19 saves) to the far side for the winner.

“Those are tough,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the gut-punch loss. “We had a good first (period), and the second and third were no good. The fact that we got one late was kind of, ‘OK, maybe we’ll get something out of this,’ and then (we) turn around and blow a little assignment on the end. That’s a tough way to end the game.”

After a first period in which they outshot the Islanders 12-7, the Hurricanes managed just one shot on goal in the second period and trailed 1-0 on a goal by New York’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Carolina failed to muster much pressure on Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin (20 saves) in the third period, but with Andersen on the bench for an extra attacker, the Hurricanes finally broke through to tie the game.

Trocheck found a passing lane through the Islanders to Tony DeAngelo at the point, and the Hurricanes defenseman’s shot bounced around in front and was eventually swept by Sebastian Aho to Trocheck for the tying goal at 19:03 of the third.

“Sometimes it just has to be ‘just get the puck to the net and get guys and bodies there,’” Trocheck said. “A lot of times 6-on-5, that’s how those goals are scored.”

While Carolina managed to score with one extra skater on the ice in the waning moments, its power play was nowhere near as effective. The Hurricanes managed just four shots on goal during an 0-for-4 night on the power play, and just one of those shots came with the first unit on the ice.

“They’ve been terrible,” Brind’Amour said of his top unit, “let’s just be honest. … Our first group’s got to get way better.”

Brind’Amour said he has no plans to mix up his power play personnel.

“You’ve got to have a little more intensity there,” the coach said. “They’ll get it back.”

Brind’Amour was also hopeful that defenseman Ethan Bear, playing for the first time since March 26 after an injury, will regain his form.

Bear mishandled a puck behind the Carolina net near the game’s midway point and had it stolen by Palmieri, who left the puck for Matt Martin. Martin feathered a pass past DeAngelo to Pageau, who snapped a shot over Andersen’s glove at 8:24 of the second period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

“He’s been out for a while,” Brind’Amour said of Bear. “Give him some time to get up to speed. A little bit of rust, I’m sure.”

They could very well need Bear — who played while Ian Cole was a healthy scratch — after Brendan Smith was injured on an early third period boarding penalty by the Islanders’ Casey Cizikas.

Brind’Amour did not have an update on Smith’s status after the game. Smith was playing his 10th game since suffering a broken skull on a blocked shot on Feb. 20 in Pittsburgh.

Carolina, which rallied to beat Buffalo 5-3 the night before, will have one day off before resuming its frantic end-of-season schedule with a visit from Anaheim on Sunday. It will be the first of 10 games in the regular season’s final 19 days for the Hurricanes.

“We’re fine-tuning things, and there’s things we definitely need to work on right now,” Trocheck said. “We have to use these next 10 games to amp ourselves up before we get into the playoffs.”

Notes: Cole and Steven Lorentz were healthy extras while Jesperi Kotkaniemi remains out with a lower-body injury. … Trocheck’s goal ended his five-game point and seven-game goal droughts. … DeAngelo earned his 36th assist of the season Friday, the third most since the franchise relocated to North Carolina. Joni Pitkanen has the most with 40 in 2009-10, followed by Frank Kaberle with 38 in 2005-06. Jaccob Slavin is tied for fourth with 34 this season.