Hurricanes beat Islanders 5-2, take 3-0 series lead
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — 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 2½ goals in its previous six postseason games was the lowest among the eight teams that are still playing.
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.
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.
The series resumes here Friday night for Game 4.