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Hockey

NHL playoffs: Hurricanes push Islanders to the brink of elimination; Stars beat Blues to even series

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Three
Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Faulk, center, celebrates with teammates Warren Foegele, left, and Jordan Staal after scoring against the New York Islanders in Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals on May 1.
(Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

Sebastian Aho set up Justin Williams’ go-ahead goal with 9:45 remaining, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 lead in their second-round series.

Teuvo Teravainen had two goals, including an empty-netter with 57.1 seconds remaining, Justin Faulk also scored and Aho added another empty-net goal with 4.8 seconds to play.

The wild-card Hurricanes — in the playoffs for the first time in a decade — moved within a victory of a berth in the Eastern Conference final and took a 3-0 series lead for just the second time since they moved to North Carolina in 1997. After losing the first two games of its first-round series with Washington, Carolina has won seven of eight.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist and Devon Toews scored on the power play to spark a dormant Islanders offense. New York had scored one goal in the previous two games of this series and its average of 2{ goals in its previous six postseason games was the lowest among the eight teams that are still playing.

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But it wasn’t enough to keep them from a precarious spot. After sweeping Pittsburgh in the first round, the Islanders are in danger of being swept. Only four teams in NHL history have won a series after losing the first three games.

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Curtis McElhinney — who at 35 years and 343 days old became the oldest goalie in NHL history to make his first playoff start — stopped 28 shots in place of Petr Mrazek, who is day to day with a lower body injury. After McElhinney made two bang-bang saves in the second period while doing a split, the crowd chanted his first name.

Robin Lehner stopped 34 shots for the Islanders, but his career record against the Hurricanes fell to 0-7.

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Dallas 4, St. Louis 2

Rookie Roope Hintz scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov each had two assists and the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Wednesday night to even the second-round series at two games each.

Rookie coach Jim Montgomery made a significant change by switching up his top two lines, and the move paid off for Dallas. Seguin skated on a line with Jason Dickinson and Mats Zuccarello. That put Hintz, instead of Seguin, with Radulov and captain Jaime Benn.

Dickinson, Jason Spezza and John Klingberg also scored for the Stars, who were down 1-0 only five minutes into the game. Zuccarello also had two assists, giving him six in the series.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a power-play goal for the Blues, who lost for the first time in their five road games this postseason.

The Western Conference semifinal series returns to St. Louis for Game 5 on Friday night.

Dallas went up 4-1 late in the second period when Radulov and Benn assisted Hintz’s third goal of the series.

About halfway through the second period, Dickinson forced a turnover at center ice. Zuccarello got the puck to Seguin, who made a cross-ice pass to Klingberg, whose sniper shot whizzed to the left of rookie goalie Jordan Binnington and into the net.

Binnington stopped 27 shots, including a backhander by Andrew Cogliano, a breakaway by Miro Heiskanen and another charge by the Dickinson-Seguin line on shifts before Klingberg’s second goal of the playoffs — he had the overtime winner in Game 6 against Nashville that clinched the first-round series.

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Ben Bishop didn’t appear shielded when Tarasenko’s fifth goal of the playoffs glanced off the Dallas goalie’s left arm and into the net.

Ryan O’Reilly assisted on both of St. Louis’ goals, including the one by 19-year-old center Robert Thomas in the third period.

Bishop finished with 27 saves.


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