NHL playoffs: Hurricanes defeat Islanders to take 2-0 series lead

Carolina Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders in Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals.
(Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored 48 seconds apart early in the third period to rally the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday and a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Petr Mrazek stopped nine of 10 shots he faced before leaving with an injury 6 1/2 minutes into the second period. Curtis McElhinney came on and finished with 17 saves to help Carolina win for the sixth time in its last seven playoff games.

Mathew Barzal scored and Robin Lehner made with 16 saves for the Islanders. New York, which had home-ice advantage in a seven-game series for the 15th time, has opened with two losses for the first time.


Game 3 is Wednesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Trailing 1-0 after two periods, the Hurricanes took the lead early in the third. Foegele tied, taking a pass from Lucas Wallmark and beating Lehner inside the right post from the right faceoff dot 17 seconds in. It was his fifth goal of the postseason.

Niederreiter put the Hurricanes ahead when he redirected a shot by Teuvo Teravainen for his first of the playoffs at 1:05.

McElhinney stopped a shot by Anthony Beauvillier 5:15 into the third, and then stuffed a try by Barzal with just under 11 minutes left.

Then, with New York on a power play, McElhinney saved Josh Bailey’s attempt from the left doorstep to preserve the lead. After the penalty expired, Jordan Eberle’s shot from in front hit the crossbar and stayed out with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Islanders’ Ryan Pulock also hit the crossbar with 1:02 left.

The Hurricanes had a two-man advantage for 1:25 early in the second after Eberle and Scott Mayfield were both called for slashing penalties, but couldn’t get any shots on goal during the 5-on-3. After the first penalty expired, Lehner stopped a shot by Teravainen from between the circles, and an attempt in front by Justin Williams 6 seconds apart.

Mrazek was then replaced by McElhinney during a broadcast timeout 6:27 into the middle period. The Hurricanes later announced he had a lower-body injury.

McElhinney, making his first appearance of the postseason, stopped an attempt by Matt Martin and ensuing follow by Mayfield on the right doorstep near the midpoint of the period to keep the Hurricanes within one.

McElhinney also had a nice glove save on a try by Mayfield with 1:43 left in the middle period.

Devon Toews appeared to double the Islanders’ lead with 15 seconds to go in the period after the rebound of his backhander went in off his skate. However, the goal was waved off by the officials for kicking the puck in.

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After failing to get their first shot on goal for nearly six minutes in Game 1, the Islanders were aggressive from the start in this one. They outshot Carolina 4-2 over the first 5 1/2 minutes and 7-3 in the first period.

Barzal gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with his first career playoff goal, a power-play score with 6:43 left in the opening period. Barzal got the puck on the left side of the net and sent a pass across the crease toward Josh Bailey, but the puck deflected off the stick of Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and up into the top right corner over Mrazek’s outstretched glove.

The goal ended Mrazek’s scoreless streak at 125:04, dating to the second period of Game 7 against Washington.