Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored 48 seconds apart in the opening moments of the third period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday afternoon for the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, who beat the New York Islanders, 2-1, to take a 2-0 series lead at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Hurricanes, who won Game 1, 1-0, in overtime on Friday, have won four straight playoff games since falling behind the Washington Capitals 3-2 in the first round. They return home to host Game 3 Wednesday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Foegele took a long pass from Lucas Wallmark and fired a shot past Robin Lehner and off the far post just 17 seconds into the third. Niederreiter, a former member of the Islanders, redirected Teuvo Teravainen’s shot just 48 seconds later.
Curtis McElhinney, playing for the first time since Apr. 6, earned the win by stopping all 17 shots he faced in relief of Petr Mrazek, who left with a lower-body injury early in the second period. Mrazek made nine saves.
Mathew Barzal scored in the first for the Islanders. Lehner recorded 16 saves.
The Islanders scored their first goal of the series in unusual fashion during a power play in the first. Barzal was credited with the goal when his pass across the crease, which was intended for Josh Bailey, and ticked off the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and skittered past Mrazek with 6:43 remaining.
The Hurricanes had 1:25 of 5-on-3 action early in the second, when Jordan Eberle and Scott Mayfield were each whistled for slashing. But Carolina recorded just three shots during the power play.
The Hurricanes, who lost defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk when he took a hit from Islanders right winger Cal Clutterbuck during the game’s first series, absorbed another big loss when Mrazek left 6:27 into the second. Mrazek, who appeared to be hurt lunging for a save on a shot by Leo Komarov a little more than two minutes into the period, smashed his stick against the boards as he left the ice.
The Islanders, who had two goals waved off in Friday’s loss, had another waved off with 14.2 seconds left in the second, when Devon Toews had his shot deflected by McElhinney before kicking the puck into the net as he skated behind the cage.
The Islanders suffered another near-miss with 7:32 left in the third, when Jordan Eberle’s shot banged off the crossbar and bounced into the crease but never crossed the goal line. Ryan Pulock hit the post with about a minute remaining.