Staal lifts Hurricanes in OT in Game 1

Jordan Staal scored 4:04 into overtime Friday night to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 1-0 win over the host New York Islanders in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nino Niederreiter set up the goal by firing a shot off the boards behind the New York net. The puck bounced to Staal, whose lunging shot glanced off the skate of goaltender Robin Lehner and into the net.

Lehner made 31 saves, as did Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek.

Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn.

The Hurricanes played a 1-0 overtime game for the first time in franchise history, dating back to their days as the Hartford Whalers. The Islanders played their second and their first since beating the Chicago Blackhawks on Apr. 18, 1979.

The game was the first for the Islanders at Barclays Center since Feb. 16. New York played its final 13 regular-season games and both home games of its first-round sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

The Islanders generated the majority of chances in the first. Mrazek turned back five shots during a power play generated when Justin Williams was whistled for tripping, including consecutive attempts at the doorstep by Anthony Beauvillier a little more than eight minutes into the game. Mrazek also stopped Josh Bailey on a pair of backhanded point-blank attempts.

The Hurricanes almost broke the scoreless tie in the final minute, when Brock McGinn pounced on a turnover by Devon Toews deep in the Islanders zone and fired a pair of shots that were smothered by Lehner.

The Hurricanes had their best chance in the first two periods just before the midway point of the second when Toews again turned the puck over in the Islanders’ zone. Greg McKegg picked up the puck, raced in all alone and fired a shot towards the corner of the net that a sprawling Lehner was able to deflect with his pads.

Islanders center Mathew Barzal appeared to finally produce the game’s first goal when his shot sailed past Mrazek with 2:53 left, but Anders Lee was whistled for interfering with Mrazek.

In the third, Williams had a brief look at an open net following a wraparound, but Nick Leddy dove into the crease and blocked the shot. Ryan Pulock almost put the Islanders ahead with 4:26 left, but his shot got wedged in the netting on the side of the net.