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By Vin A. Cherwoo |
The Islanders were locked in another tight game with the Carolina Hurricanes until a big goal late opened a record-setting scoring outburst and helped New York get a big home win after a pair of one-goal losses on the road.
Kyle Palmieri and Matt Martin scored 44 seconds apart late in the third period and the Islanders beat the Hurricanes 5-1 Friday night to cut their first-round series deficit to 2-1.
Casey Cizikas, Scott Mayfield and Anders Lee also scored as New York got four goals in a 2:18 span late — the fastest four goals in Stanley Cup playoff history — to pull away. Ilya Sorokin stopped 30 shots for the Islanders.
“We knew every game would be a battle,” Palmieri said. “We stuck with it and found a way to come through at the end.”
Jesper Fast scored for the Hurricanes and Antti Raanta finished with 32 saves.
“It’s a tough ending,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It was a close game and then got away there at the end. We’ll regroup and come back the next one.”
Game 4 is back at the UBS Arena on Sunday.
The Islanders had two power plays in the first half of the third period, but couldn’t manage many scoring chances. Raanta then denied an in-close try from Bo Horvat with 6 1/2 minutes remaining to keep it tied 1-1. The Hurricanes goalie then made a sliding, sprawling save on a try by Noah Dobson about 40 seconds later.
With 1 second left on another Islanders power play, defenseman Sebastian Aho fired a shot from the right point that Palmieri deflected out of the air past Raanta with 3:51 left.
“The puck is going wide but he tipped it,” Raanta said. “Those are the goals that happen in the playoffs. Tough to make a save when the puck is going wide. It’s a good tip. … At the end of the day, it’s a loss and you have to learn from it.”
Martin then made it 3-1 just 44 seconds later as he got a pass from Palmieri and quickly beat Raanta from the left circle.
The Hurricanes pulled Raanta for an extra skater with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining and Mayfield scored a long empty-netter with 1:49 left. With the goalie back in, Lee added to the lead 16 seconds later and the Islanders made playoff history with the four-goal outburst.
“I thought we were playing really well,” Cizikas said of the Islanders’ play leading up to the scoring burst. “We were doing what we set out to do from the start. We didn’t shy away from it. We kept rolling four lines, we kept going after them.”
A game that was physical from the start saw a lot of pushing and shoving in the final minute, with Lee and Carolina’s Jalen Chatfield earning misconduct penalties.
Carolina had three power plays over an 11 1/2-minute stretch carrying over from the final minute of the first period into the middle of the second, but mustered only three shots on goal during the advantages.
“(The penalty-kill) was big in the second period,” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said. “The game could have changed momentum, but we definitely did a good job.”
Cizikas then gave the Islanders the 1-0 lead as he got a pass from Ryan Pulock after the defenseman kept the puck in the offensive zone and beat Raanta from the right side with 7:11 left in the second.
The Hurricanes tied it with a short-handed goal with 3:04 left on a 2-on-1 rush as Jordan Staal fed Fast on the right side and he redirected it into Sorokin. The puck was in the crease rolling toward the goal line when trailing Islanders forward Brock Nelson appeared to tip the puck in. It was Fast’s second of the series after he got the overtime winner in Game 2.
The raucous home crowd was loud from puck drop in the first postseason game at the second-year UBS Arena. The crowd erupted in a roar when Carolina’s Shayne Gostisbehere was whistled for hooking 7:50 into the game to put the Islanders on their first power play since late in the third period of Game 1. New York had no power plays in Game 2, while the Hurricanes went 1 for 6.
Sorokin smothered an attempt by Jesperi Kotkaniemi on the left doorstep 4 minutes in and had a kick save on a shot by Martin Necas from the left side with 8:12 left in the first. Sorokin also made a pair of big saves on Brent Burns early in a Carolina power play with about 30 seconds left in the first period.
Top: New York Islanders celebrate a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of Game 3 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Friday, April 21, 2023, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)