Saku Maenalanen and Jaccob Slavin scored, Greg McKegg had a goal and an assist, and Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves for Carolina (20-17-5), which defeated New York for the first time in four tries this season (1-2-1).
“That team makes you earn everything you’ve got,” Williams said. “They play hard, they play tough in the defensive zone and we’re happy to finally get a win against them.
“We haven’t exactly played our best hockey but we’re finding ways to win games, and that’s what good teams do. Hopefully we’ll wind it up and be better next game.”
Brock Nelson had two goals and an assist, and Devon Toews scored for New York (23-14-4), which had a six-game winning streak end. The Islanders have not won seven straight in a single season since their nine-game streak between Dec. 31, 1989, and Jan. 19, 1990. Thomas Greiss made 20 saves.
“Average,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “There were times where we were fine, but then there were times where you could just tell we made some mental mistakes.”
Nelson gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 13:42 of the first period with a wrist shot from the left circle after a turnover by Justin Faulk. It was Nelson’s 14th goal of the season.
Maenalanen tied it at 15:10 when he cut to the net from the left side and put a backhand past Greiss for his first NHL goal to make it 1-1.
McKegg gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead with six seconds remaining in the period after he knocked down Victor Rask‘s feed in front.
“It’s deflating when you give up a goal late,” Nelson said. “You have to learn from that and you just have to own it and go out there and make the right play.”
New York forward Jordan Eberle had a goal taken away at 2:40 of the second period when video review determined the Islanders entered the zone offside. But Toews tied it 2-2 at 4:50 of the third period on a shot from the point through traffic.
The Islanders were awarded their third power play of the game with 4:57 remaining when Williams hooked Leo Komarov in the neutral zone. But the Hurricanes killed the penalty, and Williams scored 15 seconds after leaving the box when he roofed a shot over Greiss with 2:42 left for a 3-2 lead. It was his 10th goal of the season.
“I was just in the box with my head down, hoping they’d kill the penalty for me,” Williams said. “They did; they didn’t even make me sweat too much. I just got a great pass from McKegg. I thought about going and passing it back, but the top side opened up and I was able to put it in.”
Slavin scored a power-play goal with 1:07 remaining to make it 4-2 before Nelson scored again from the left circle with 59 seconds left for the 4-3 final.
“Frustrating,” Lee said. “We had some opportunities, we had some power plays. We just made a couple of mistakes at bad times in the game, allowed them to get those go-ahead goals, tying goals, whatever it was. We kind of point to ourselves tonight.”
They said it
“We buckled down when we had to, and some huge kills tonight. That’s the difference in the game. I give those guys a lot of credit for sacrificing, doing whatever they had to do to get pucks out. We’ll take it.” — Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour on Carolina going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill
“We expect to make the playoffs. Who knows? It’s going to be a tight race. That one or two points that we could have had today, we threw them away.” — Islanders coach Barry Trotz
Need to know
The five-game winning streak is the Hurricanes’ longest of the season. They are 13-2-2 in their past 17 games at Nassau Coliseum; this was their first game here since Feb. 28, 2015. … Greiss entered the game having allowed three goals on 112 shots in three wins against the Hurricanes this season. … Carolina recalled defenseman Dan Renouf from Charlotte of the American Hockey League before the game. He was a healthy scratch. … The Islanders activated center Valtteri Filppula off injured reserve and sent right wing Joshua Ho-Sang to Bridgeport of the AHL. … Hurricanes forward Brock McGinn played his 200th NHL game; Islanders forward Matt Martin played his 600th. … It was New York’s first regulation loss at the Coliseum this season (3-1-1).
Hurricanes: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-SE, NHL.TV)
Islanders: At the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)