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NHL playoffs: Hurricanes sweep Islanders; Stars take series lead over Blues

NHL playoffs: Hurricanes sweep Islanders; Stars take series lead over Blues
Sebastian Aho (20) of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates after scoring against the New York Islanders in the first period. (Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

Teuvo Teravainen and Greg McKegg scored 66 seconds apart in the second period, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Friday night to sweep their second-round series.

Teravainen and linemate Sebastian Aho each finished with a goal and an assist, captain Justin Williams and rookie star Andrei Svechnikov each added insurance goals and goalie Curtis McElhinney made 26 saves in his second career playoff start.

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The Hurricanes — who went a decade between playoff berths — earned the first four-game sweep in franchise history and have reached the Eastern Conference final in each of their last four postseason appearances since 2002. They're also unbeaten in five home playoff games.

Now the Hurricanes — after winning six straight and eight of nine — have some time to heal before they face the Columbus-Boston winner.

Mathew Barzal scored a power-play goal and Brock Nelson added a late goal for the Islanders, who managed just five goals in the series and were swept for the first time since the Rangers did it in the first round in 1994.

They kept the identity of their starting goalie a secret until warmups — when Robin Lehner led them onto the ice for the fourth straight game in the series.

He didn't last long.

Coach Barry Trotz pulled him in favor of backup Thomas Greiss after the bang-bang goals by Teravainen and McKegg early in the second period.

Teravainen put the Hurricanes ahead to stay after some slick passes from Aho and Warren Foegele set up his sixth goal of the postseason. And McKegg chased Lehner when the goalie couldn't keep hold of the rebound of Brett Pesce's shot and the Carolina rookie stuffed it in for his first playoff goal.

Greiss wasn't much better against the relentless Hurricanes, with Williams scoring their third goal of the period off a give-and-go from Nino Niederreiter at 8:51 and Svechnikov riling up the rowdy Caniacs with his goal with 4:47 left.

Lehner and Greiss each finished with eight saves for the Islanders. Their counterpart — McElhinney — wouldn't let them make this a game again, stopping Josh Bailey from point-blank range with about 10 1/2 minutes remaining.

With elimination looming over his team, Trotz declared this game as a Game 7 and they approached this one with the urgency of one, taking full advantage of a high-sticking penalty to Andrei Svechnikov 73 seconds in. Barzal slipped behind Jaccob Slavin and poked the rebound of Devon Towes' shot past McElhinney for his second goal in three games.

From there, though, it was all Hurricanes — who got some help from an Islanders defenseman to end their lengthy power-play drought.

Carolina was 3 of 34 with the man advantage during this postseason and had no power-play goals since Game 3 of the Washington series, but when Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech accidentally shoveled the puck into his own net during a scrum in front of Lehner — for a goal credited to Aho — that dry spell was over.

Stars 3, at Blues 2: Jason Spezza scored and Ben Bishop made 38 saves as the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 Friday night to take a 3-2 lead int heir Western Conference semifinal series.

Esa Lindell also scored for the Stars, who can advance with a win in Game 6 at home on Sunday.

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Jaden Schwartz scored and Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for the Blues, including stops on three breakaways in the first 4:08 of the second period to keep it a one-goal game at the time.

Spezza gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 2:42 of the first, burying a one-timer from Tyler Seguin. The goal extended Spezza's points streak to three games and he's scored in the last two.

Lindell made it 2-0 with a backhand from the high slot at 6:13 of the second. It was Lindell's first goal of the postseason.

Bishop made a couple of saves during a Blues power play in the second and stopped quality chances from Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas in the first. But Bishop's giveaway at 8:26 of the third put the puck right on Schwartz's stick, setting him up for a one-timer that pulled the Blues within one.

Bishop redeemed himself late in the third, stretching to get his pad on a point-blank chance for Oskar Sundqvist.

The Blues went 0 for 4 on the power play, giving up several quality short-handed chances to the Stars. The third power play at the end of the second was so futile that it drew hearty boos from the 18,542 at Enterprise Center.

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