Hurricanes rally from 3 goals down to stun Islanders 5-3, take 2-0 series lead

Sean Coffey Image
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Canes rally from 3 down to stun Islanders 5-3, take 2-0 series lead
The Carolina Hurricanes shocked the New York Islanders with a furious third-period rally to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their NHL playoff series.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Carolina Hurricanes fans started flooding the grounds at PNC Arena on Monday afternoon as they prepared to help PNC live up to its name as the "loudest house" in the NHL.

It appeared for most of the night that the New York Islanders were going to keep that crowd quiet, taking a 3-0 lead and looking as if they were going to even the series at a game apiece,

Then, the Canes struck like thunder -- five consecutive goals, including three in the final three minutes -- to take a 5-3 win and a commanding 2-0 lead in the series that sent the crowd into a roof-rocking frenzy.

Sebastian Aho and Jordan Martinook scored 9 seconds apart late in the third period to help the Hurricanes complete the improbable comeback.

Aho struck first by redirecting Andrei Svechnikov's shot at the right post behind Semyon Varlamov with 2:15 remaining to tie the game at 3. After an Islanders giveaway on the ensuing faceoff, Martinook raced down to beat Noah Dobson to the puck along the boards and then pushed it toward the same post from behind the net.

The puck banged off Varlamov's left skate and slipped into the net for the 4-3 lead with 2:06 to go, sending the Hurricanes players mobbing a jumping Martinook amid a roof-blowing roar from a shocked home crowd.

Carolina Hurricanes' Jake Guentzel (59) celebrates Teuvo Teravainen's goal during the second period on Monday night in Raleigh.
Karl B DeBlaker

Jake Guentzel added an empty-net score in the final minute to seal this one, which ended with frustrations flaring for the Islanders, several scrums between the teams and multiple players taking early walks to the locker room.

This was a brutal finish for the Islanders, who used goals from Kyle Palmieri, Bo Horvat and Anders Lee - the last being a forehand-to-backhand finish atop the crease on the power play - to take a 3-0 lead early in the second period. And that had them poised to earn a split after losing 3-1 in Game 1 despite a performance that left coach Patrick Roy encouraged by his team's play.

Instead, New York unraveled in crushing fashion, starting with Varlamov taking a tripping penalty on Stefan Noesen to put Carolina on a power play. Teuvo Teravainen converted on the man advantage by finishing a feed from Guentzel at 13:01 of the second, cutting the deficit to 3-1 and breathing life back into a stunned-silent arena.

And from there, the Hurricanes kept the pressure on, tipping the ice toward Varlamov with withering sustained shifts in the offensive zone. That included both Aho and Seth Jarvis each ringing the post late in the second, and then Guentzel in the third before Jarvis buried a cross-ice feed from Jordan Staal to bring Carolina to within 3-2 at 10:43 of the third.

The Hurricanes finished with a 39-12 shot advantage, with Varlamov facing 16 in the final period alone before finishing with 34 saves. New York, which had just one shot on goal in the third period, also a goal waived off when Kyle McLean's Jarvis-answering redirect past Andersen came with his stick high in the air.

Andersen finished with nine saves for Carolina

The series shifts north for the next two games, with Game 3 set for Thursday night.

The Hurricanes are the odds-on favorite to lift the Stanley Cup and one young fan was pumped as he prepared to see the team play live for the first time at PNC Arena.

"Just like the overall feeling of the arena, how loud it is, and how exciting the game's going to be because it's going to be more of a competition for the teams, so it's going to be more exciting," said Christopher Yazembiak, 13, who was attending the game with his dad.

Christopher said win or lose, it would be a memory he would keep forever. His first game was a memory for a lifetime.

The Associated Press contributed.