The Carolina Hurricanes have won another game on the road.
Now, what about at home?
Eric Staal scored his 25th and 26th goals of the season Thursday as the Canes rolled past the New York Islanders 6-2 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Ray Whitney, Dennis Seidenberg and Anton Babchuk each had a goal and assist for Carolina.
For the Canes, that's four straight wins on the road, their longest streak since winning five in a row in the 2005-06 season. Now, there's the not-so-small matter of winning at the RBC Center.
The Hurricanes are back home Friday night to face the Tampa Bay Lightning, trailing the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers by three points in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. And while Carolina is 8-2-0 in the second half of back-to-back sets this season, while the Canes have beaten the Lightning three times, they may be a bit wary.
In their last three games at the RBC Center, the Hurricanes have been outscored 15-2, losing all three. Whitney, in particular, was outspoken after a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, calling it a "bit humiliating."
"We have to focus on our game and how we need to play," Staal said. "Everything else will take care of itself."
The Canes responded Thursday by grabbing a 3-1 first-period lead and pushing it to 5-1 after two against the Islanders, who were unbeaten in their last six games.
"I don't think it was an ESPN Classic, but at the same time we needed this game clearly more than they did," Canes coach Paul Maurice said.
Whitney helped get the Canes started with his 18th goal, getting a piece of a Babchuk shot at 5:23 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. Mark Streit's power-play goal, the defenseman scoring on a shot from just inside the blue line, tied it 1-1. Then came the Canes' barrage.
At 16:15, Matt Cullen scored his 16th as Chad LaRose passed to Whitney from behind the Islanders net and Whitney sharply fed Cullen for a backhand flip.
Moments later, it was 3-1. Staal wound up as if to shoot, took another stride, then unloaded, the puck hitting and then trickling past Islanders goalie Joey MacDonald.
"We wanted to jump on them early and we did," Staal said
Staal added his second goal at 15:49 of the second with a rising shot that zipped past MacDonald's head and nicked the crossbar. Winger Tuomo Ruutu controlled the puck behind the Islanders net before Staal scored from the left circle
But the Canes weren't through in the second period. With just 15.4 seconds left, Seidenberg slipped in and fired a shot past MacDonald for a 5-1 lead
Babchuk's goal in the third finished the scoring for the Canes.
The Canes, 15-12-4 on the road, played without defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who suffered an upper body injury Tuesday against the Boston Bruins. Pitkanen also will sit out tonight's game against Tampa Bay, Maurice said.
Maurice wasn't sure until late Thursday afternoon if Sergei Samsonov, who took a shot off the foot in the Boston game, would play. Samsonov did, assisting on both of Staal's goals.
Canes goalie Cam Ward faced 60 shots and had 57 saves Oct. 25, when the Canes won 4-3 in their last visit to Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders had 24 shots Thursday.
Now it's back to the RBC Center for home games against Tampa Bay and Colorado.
"It's a chance for us to respond," Staal said. "We have this win and hopefully we can build on it.
"We need to use our building to our advantage," Staal said.