Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored 48 seconds apart early in the third period to rally the Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the Islanders in Brooklyn on Sunday and a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Carolina’s Petr Mrazek stopped nine of 10 shots he faced before leaving with a lower-body injury 6½ minutes into the second period. Curtis McElhinney finished with 17 saves to help the Hurricanes prevail.
With New York on a power play midway through the third, McElhinney saved Josh Bailey’s attempt from the left doorstep. After the penalty expired, Jordan Eberle’s shot from in front hit the crossbar with 7½ minutes remaining and Ryan Pulock also hit the crossbar with 1:02 left.
“He’s been huge,” Foegele said about McElhinney. “It’s not easy coming off the bench there when you haven’t faced a shot for 30 minutes or so and come up big with some stellar saves.”
Carolina trailed 1-0 until Foegele took a pass from Lucas Wallmark and beat goalie Robin Lehner inside the right post from the right faceoff dot 17 seconds into the third. Niederreiter then put the Hurricanes ahead when he redirected a shot by Teuvo Teravainen past Lehner at 1:05.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.
“We were much better than the night before” in Game 1, New York captain Anders Lee said. “Now, we’ve got to go into their building and do what they did to us.”
The Hurricanes won despite losing defenseman Trevor Riemsdyk to a shoulder injury in the opening minute of the game and forward Saku Maenalanen to an upper-body injury in the third.
MVP finalists: Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid are the finalists for the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s most valuable player as determined in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Kucherov and McDavid, along with Chicago’s Patrick Kane, earlier were named finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the league’s MVP as determined by player voting.
The winners of both awards will be revealed June 19 in Las Vegas.
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